HOUSTON, Texas — It was a chaotic ending for Sporting KC’s Saturday night match in Houston.
With a 2-1 lead, Houston Dynamo midfielder Iván Franco put home the equalizer in the eighth minute of stoppage time. On the ensuing kickoff, Houston’s Sebastián Ferreira shoved SKC’s Gadi Kinda before he kicked the ball.
Ferreira received a yellow card, and so did Sporting defender, Tim Leibold for stepping on the pitch from the bench.
The match ended in a 2-2 draw.
Sporting head coach Peter Vermes said the referee, Nima Saghafi, did a good job in the match until the end.
“I was told that the two things that you look for is brutality and force, and there wasn’t, it wasn’t enough of either,” Vermes said. “The circle is, it’s a 20-yard radius, right? So it’s, you know, 10 yards. So from one end of the circle to the other, it’s 20.”
“So when you’re in the middle, you’re 10 yards basically away from everybody. So the guy comes, it’s our kickoff. The guy comes from 10 yards away and shoves our guy to the ground. And I don’t know how that’s not enough force,” Vermes said. “Where do you want me to go?”
“How many times does this stuff have to happen? For the most part, I think that the referee did a good job in the game. I just think that those things are unacceptable. That’s not a soccer play. I don’t care about force, I don’t care about anything, that is a non-soccer play, has nothing to do with anything.”
Houston committed 19 fouls to Sporting’s 10 and also received three yellow cards to Sporting’s two.
“Their guys are over the line. Our guy holds the ball and doesn’t play it. Why would he play it and let the other team get five yards jump into our half of the field? Why would he do that? He didn’t do anything wrong,” Vermes said.
“Players do that stuff all the time, and for him to come from there and do that and not get a red card, again it’s unfortunate because this has happened to us a few times now, and what happens is that player now plays in the next game, and that’s not the way it should be.”
Alan Pulido scored both of Sporting’s goals, one in each half. The first goal was assisted by Kinda and Andreu Fontàs, while the second was a penalty kick.
Houston responded with an equalizer in stoppage time in the first half from Ibrahim Aliyu before their final goal.
Pulido expressed his frustration after the game as well, with Sporting giving up both of those leads.
“We feel like the team [we won] tonight, we can win it, but, I don’t know. This happens in soccer,” Pulido said. We are not happy. This is true because, in the last minutes, we tied.”
“But it’s okay. We need to keep moving forward. We don’t need to lose the mind.”
Vermes thought his team was “very good” in the game outside of the last two minutes of each half when Houston scored their goals.
“Our smelling of the situation to close out the game was not good enough. And we gave away two points,” Vermes said.
“There’s no way that the last ball should drop on the ground no matter what. For us to concede a ball, drop it on the ground, 25 yards away from our goal when we got five in the back shouldn’t happen.”
“We even told the guys we’re yelling to ’em everything. And then the second half, we went to put ourselves in a position to deal with those kind of balls coming into the box. And for us not to be able to get on the end of that ball and be as timid as we were, yeah it disappoints me.”
Sporting KC is now 6-10-7 on the year and still sits at the bottom of the MLS Western Conference, three points outside of a playoff spot.
They have a short time before they host Real Salt Lake on Wednesday at 7:30.