Two tired teams made renewed their playoff rivalry fighting to a physical and tense 0-0 draw in the first leg of the Eastern Conference finals.
Sporting Kansas City and Houston both had chances to score at times during the first leg of the series but neither were able to convert as they'll take a level aggregate score back to Kansas City for the second leg.
Sporting had a beautiful opportunity in the 15th minute when Graham Zusi sent in a low ball to the middle of the box, where it was left open for Jacob Peterson to take a shot. Unfortunately for Sporting KC he whiffed and sent the ball wide for a goal kick.
The Dynamo had a near chance of their own in the 19th minute when Omar Cummings sent in a through ball on the side of the box where he found Kofi Sarkodie. Sarkodie finished the shot but was ruled offside, keeping the score level. It was a very tight call but Sporting KC wasn't complaining.
The Dynamo lost a huge part of their team in the 26th minute when Ricardo Clark had to exit the game after a collision that gave him a knee injury. Driver came into the game to replace the injured man for the Dynamo, also costing them a sub for later in the game.
Neither team was able to get a good opportunity for the rest of the half, going into the locker room at halftime level at 0-0.
The second half didn't bring many opportunities for either side although Peter Vermes did bring on Dom Dwyer and CJ Sapong later in the half to try and get a late goal. Unfortunately for Sporting, they weren't able to get a good opportunity for the rest of the half. Fortunately for Sporting, Houston wasn't able to get an opportunity to score either.
The teams will go into the second leg level at 0-0, meaning Sporting won't have a deficit to overcome at home like they did last year. I believe at this point you have to consider Sporting KC slight favorites but we all know how dangerous Houston can be.
Also, contrary to reports on MLSsoccer.com, Aurelien Collin did not earn a yellow card in this match and will be available for the second leg of the series. This also means that all four Sporting KC players one yellow card away from suspension are cleared for the MLS Cup if Sporting makes it that far.