HOUSTON (AP) — Soony Saad scored late in the first half, and Dominic Dwyer added a penalty kick goal in the second to help 10-man Sporting Kansas City beat the Houston Dynamo 2-0 on Friday night.
Kansas City snapped a five-game winless streak to improve to 6-5-4.
“For them to be able to come in here and get a win being a man down and having a lot of changes, was huge,” Kansas City coach Peter Vermes said. “From that perspective, it’s more for us than just three points going into the (World Cup) break.”
Houston (5-9-2) has lost four straight — all shutouts — and hasn’t scored in 389 minutes.
Houston had a few regulars, including starting goalkeeper Tally Hall, replaced in the starting lineup. Houston coach Dominic Kinnear took responsibility for the loss.
“It’s my fault for giving guys a chance,” Kinnear said. “I’m the guy who picks the team I’m the guy who makes the subs. This game is my fault today, I take 100 percent. I don’t look back on years and say, ‘Oh that was a tough stretch in ’08.’ I don’t know. It’s not a good time right now.”
Saad scored in the 45th minute, taking a pass from Benny Feilhaber and sending a shot into the right net from just the left of the upper half-circle.
“Even with us being down a man, I feel like we stayed mentally focused and picked our moments to go,” Saad said. “On the one where I scored, that was just us stepping up as a team, capitalizing on a mistake and it was perfect right before half to get momentum going into the half.”
Dwyer struck in the 70th, firing his penalty kick low into the right net and freezing Houston goalkeeper Tyler Deric. Sporting was awarded the penalty kick after Houston’s A.J. Cochran had a hand ball in the box off a corner kick.
Kansas City played the final 69 minutes a man down after Toni Dovale was given a straight red card in the 21st minute for elbowing Houston’s Alex Lopez in the face.
The win was Kansas City’s first since May 10 in Montreal.
“We were up in it today with the red card early in the game,” Dwyer said. “It was a lot of running for us. We stayed in touch with the game and was able to get the three points. It was a good test of character (to be down a man). We had a lot of guys who normally don’t start who came in today and had a fantastic performance from everyone on the field.”
Warren Creavalle had a chance to score for Houston in the 76th minute, but his shot from the right box was saved by a diving Eric Konberg.
Houston had two more chances late in second-half stoppage time. Giles Barnes sent a shot from inside the upper goalkeeper’s box off the face of Kronberg. The rebound attempt by Will Bruin in the middle of the box was slowed by the traffic in front of the net and cleared out.
“I think we need to look at everything from back to front,” Barnes said. “I’m sure that’s exactly what we will do out on the training field. There will be some guys coming back, some people can get some extra fitness work in so that after the break we come back ready to go.”
Sporting Kansas City lost captain and midfielder Paulo Nagamura in the third minute after he and Cochran went up for a ball and Cochran headed Nagamura in the back of the head.
Alex Martinez was substituted in for Nagamura, who was taken off the field on a stretcher and taken to the locker room where he was diagnosed with a concussion. He was not taken to a hospital.
Houston lost starting defender David Horst in the ninth minute with a left leg injury after a corner kick. Horst hobbled to the sideline, and Eric Brunner came in for him.
Feilhaber, who was tackled hard by Brunner on the first goal, left the game with a left shoulder injury at halftime.
Both teams were down two players already due to the World Cup call-ups, with Houston’s Brad David with the U.S. and Boniek Garcia with Honduras, and Kansas City’s Graham Zusi and Matt Besler with the U.S.
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