Houston will go to its third MLS Cup in the past six years as it rallied after losing midfield ace Brad Davis, thanks to goals from Andre Hainault and Carlo Costly.
Goals from Andre Hainault and Carlo Costly propelled the Dynamo past Sporting Kansas City in a 2-0 away victory ine the Eastern Conference final at Livestrong Sporting Park on Sunday.
Hainault tapped in a close-range rebound off of substitute Jermaine Taylor's shot that hit the post to give Houston the lead over Kansas City in the 53rd minute. The play was created by Adam Moffat's pinpoint delivery in his free kick that found Taylor in the box to set up the winner.
Costly took advantage of a counterattack to split past two defenders and score from just inside the box. Struggling to find the net all season, Costly was clearly delighted by his strike as he received a yellow card for taking off his shirt to celebrate.
The win sends Houston to its third MLS Cup final in the six years. The club is the last MLS team to win back-to-back titles, winning in 2006 and 2007.
The Dynamo's victory at Sporting's hostile grounds is especially surprising due to the team's regular season form and the early loss of Davis, who reportedly pulled his right quadriceps.
The 29-year-old midfielder was forced off in the 38th minute after he collided with Sporting midfielder Graham Zusi. He laid on the pitch for a few seconds as he couldn't get up on his own. Being helped up by the team's medical staff, Davis was almost in tears as he was subbed out for Taylor.
Sporting was aggressive in the first half but it couldn't execute in its finishing. The team had seven shots versus Houston's three in the opening 45 minutes but only managed two shots on goal. Once Davis left the game, Houston's edge on possession also declined. After holding the ball 46.8 percent in the first half, Kansas City increased its possession to 54 percent in the second half.
Still, the team couldn't finish when it got into Houston's final third.
On the other end, Houston could have gone into halftime with a 2-0 lead considering that Brian Ching and Calen Carr squandered early close-range chances.
Yet, the team remained persistent and were rewarded by Hainault and Costly's efforts which silenced a boisterous sellout crowd at Livestrong Sporting Park. Once the whistles were blown, the team rushed to the center of the stadium to celebrate.
Dynamo captain Ching hoisted the Eastern Conference trophy in the post game ceremony. The Home Depot Center awaits the club on November 20th.