Sporting KC vs. Houston Dynamo, 2012 MLS Playoffs: Dom Kinnear does it again

Jamie Squire

Dominic Kinnear leads the Dynamo to a 2-1 aggregate goal win over Sporting KC to advance to the Eastern Conference finals for the second straight year.

If there's any lesson we should have learned by now, it's never bet against Dominic Kinnear in the MLS Cup Playoffs. The Houston Dynamo coach pulled off another impressive trick, this time knocking off Sporting Kansas City despite losing 1-0 on Wednesday. It's the third time the Dynamo have advanced to the conference finals in the last four years.

The Dynamo hardly looked good in this one, but holding a 2-0 aggregate-goal lead coming into it, they didn't need to. From the outset, it was clear they were content to simply bunker and hold on for dear life.

Sporting KC came out showing every bit of the urgency you'd expect from a team trailing 2-0 on aggregate. They registered 73 percent of the possession and out shot the Dynamo 7-3. Among those seven shots, were several golden opportunities.

Kei Kamara and CJ Sapong both got open headers but couldn't put either on frame. Kamara's chance was especially juicy, as he got open at the far post on a Graham Zusi free kick. His attempt went well wide.

Kamara had another good look in the 26th minute, but this time his attempt from about eight yards out was blocked by Bobby Boswell before it could get to the goal.

Sporting KC finally got on the board when Seth Sinovic was able to get a wide open header off a Zusi cross in the 65th minute. Sinovic got a free look at a diving header as the Dynamo defense collapsed into the middle of the penalty area.

Sapong nearly got the equalizer a few minutes later. Kamara sent in a cross from the right wing and Sapong beat both defender Bobby Boswell and goalkeeper Tally Hall to it, but his touch went over the crossbar.

When it was all said and done, KC out shot the Dynamo 20-3 and had 71 percent of the possession. It wasn't enough.

It was the second straight year in which the Dynamo have knocked KC out of the playoffs.

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