Sporting Kansas City pulled out hard fought victory over rivals Houston Dynamo to advance to the Semifinals of the 2015 US Open Cup.
Houston dominated the early stages of the match. A couple giveaways in the midfield and bad fouls led to Houston having four corners and two free kicks in the first 15 minutes. They were each defended properly, but KC was on their heels and unable to get anything real going on their end of the pitch.
The pressure continued into the 26th minute when Brad Davis found space on the left side of the box and sent a ground cross right passed Melia and fortunately, just out of reach of the sliding boot of Ricardo Clark.
Then in the 30th minute the dynamic of the whole match would change when referee Ted Unkel issued a straight red card for Luis Garrido. Garrido ran down Benny Feilhaber in the midfield and continued chasing the ball, sliding in with both feet up at Amadou Dia, who went down in a heap for a couple minutes.
The home side then began to find their rhythm a bit. Nemeth was able to get into some dangerous spots in the ensuing minutes. In the 38th minute he took on several defenders in the box before firing a shot that went out for an unsuccessful corner kick. But Kansas City now had the upper hand and controlled play for the remainder of the first half.
Sporting KC continued to dominate into the second half, but in the 58th minute, Houston would take the lead against the run of play. Espinoza was able to clear a headed attempt off the line, but it bounced right back to Will Bruin who poked in the go ahead goal.
In the 61st, Chance Myers won a penalty kick and a chance to tie the game. Dom Dwyer stepped up to finish the job, but had a poor attempt. Dynamo keeper Joe Willis easily parried it towards the sideline to preserve his team's lead.
After a foul just outside the box, things began to get chippy. Both teams were yelling and pushing and after a few minutes both Brad Davis and Roger Espinoza were given yellows.
Sporting KC kept the pressure on and in the 72nd minute, Benny Feilhaber leveled things up. The Houston defense gave the deadly midfielder too much space and Benny ripped one from 35 yards out passed the diving keeper.
With a weight off their shoulders and the revitalized crowd at their back, the home side continued to pound away at the Dynamo defense. Through combinations in the middle of the park, as opposed to whipping in crosses from the wings, Sporting KC was sending in shot after shot.
Finally, the winner would come in the 86th minute. Dia found Nemeth at the top of the box who flicked it passed the defense for a wide open Dwyer and an easy finish.
KC was then able to really expose Houston, as they had to push forward for an equalizer. After another combination in the middle of the field between Espinoza and Dwyer, Nemeth was left wide open on the left side of the box. Dom slid it across for him and Nemo sent it into the net off a Houston defender for the third and final goal.
Sporting KC was very patient all night and did not panic after conceding the first goal. Vermes kept his troops in the right mindset to get the comeback win.
The boys now advance to face another rival, Real Salt Lake, in the Semifinals on August 12th at 7:30p at Sporting Park.