(May 26, 2013) - Sporting Kansas City drew 1-1 with the Houston Dynamo in front of the third largest crowd in Sporting Park history on Sunday afternoon. Brad Davis put the Dynamo ahead with a stoppage time goal in the first half, but Sporting KC fought back and equalized in the 68th minute with Kei Kamara's first goal of the 2013 season.
It was Sporting Kansas City with the first chance of the match, arriving in the fourth minute of play when Graham Zusi barreled through midfield and fired a low shot that was saved by goalkeeper Tally Hall.
The next 30 minutes progressed without any clear cut chances for either side. In the 36th minute, Matt Besler sent in his signature long throw that found the head of Zusi, whose attempt was block by Hall with a terrific diving save to thwart a goal for the home side.
The tide appeared to turn in Houston's favor in the 39th minute when Houston was awarded a penalty kick after Oriol Rosell's challenge on Davis in the box. However, after referee Drew Fischer conferred with assistant referee Kevin Duliba, the call was overturned.
Four minutes later, Sporting KC nearly went up a goal when Claudio Bieler played a quick one-two ball to Paulo Nagamura. The Brazilian's ensuing left-footed shot skipped just wide of the far post.
Houston struck just before halftime when Will Bruin played a through ball to Davis, who slipped the ball in past Nielsen for his third goal of the season.
Down a goal, Sporting Kansas City began the second half pressuring the Dynamo. In the 53rd minute, Jacob Peterson came close to equalizing but his shot was deflected just wide of the goal.
Peterson threatened again in the 65th minute when he drove the ball down the right flank and fired a low, angled shot that was just wide of the far post.
Sporting KC drew even in the 68th minute when Bieler tipped the ball to Kamara and the Sierra Leone international shot from 22 yards out with a low drive past Hall. The goal marked Kamara's first goal of the season since returning from his loan to Norwich City FC and Bieler's first assist as a Sporting KC player. Peterson was also credited with an assist on the play, his first of the season.
Eight minutes later, Kamara nearly bagged a second after he tipped a free kick from Zusi just over the crossbar.
The third minute of stoppage time saw a stellar save from Nagamura who slid the block a goal-bound shot from second-half substitute Jason Johnson.
Sporting Kansas City will host the Des Moines Menace in their first match in the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at 7:30 p.m. CT on Tuesday at Sporting Park. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster and at Sporting Park Box Offices.
With the draw, Sporting Kansas City sits in third place in the Eastern Conference behind the New York Red Bulls and the Montreal Impact.
Sporting KC is now 6-4-4 in 2013 and 3-2-2 at home.
Sporting Kansas City is 218-210-113 all-time and 144-77-48 all-time at home.
Sporting Kansas City's record against the Houston Dynamo moves to 4-6-7 all-time and 2-3-4 at home in the series.
Sporting Kansas City is unbeaten in their last three matches against the Houston Dynamo. Prior to Sunday's draw, Sporting Kansas City had won their last two matches in the series.
Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes made one change to the starting lineup from last Sunday's 1-1 draw against D.C. United at RFK Stadium. Oriol Rosell started the match in place of Benny Feilhaber.
The Houston Dynamo made two changes to their starting lineup from last weekend's 2-0 loss against the New England Revolution at BBVA Compass Stadium. Eric Brunner and Adam Moffat started in Bobby Boswell and Jermaine Taylor's absence.
Brad Davis scored the first goal of the match assisted by Will Bruin and Giles Barnes. Davis has now scored six goals against Sporting Kansas City in his career, most among active Dynamo players. Five of his six career goals against Sporting KC have come in a Houston uniform.
Sporting Kansas City's equalizer came in the 68th minute. Kamara finished a low driven shot past Tally Hall. Claudio Bieler and Jacob Peterson were credited with the assists.
Kamara's goal was the first of the 16 goals scored by Sporting Kansas City in 2013 to have come from outside the penalty area.
Sporting KC is 5-2-3 when wearing Sporting Blue and 5-1-4 versus the Eastern Conference in 2013.
Jimmy Nielsen has appeared in 75 straight MLS matches, including postseason, for Sporting Kansas City, dating back to June 12, 2011. The streak covers a span of 6,750 straight minutes of MLS action.
Sporting Kansas City outshot D.C. United 17-12. Sporting KC is 5-3-4 when outshooting an opponent this season.
Sporting KC strung together 374 passes over the course of the game game on Sunday to the Houston Dynamo's 295 passes.
Graham Zusi took six corner kicks today. Zusi leads the League in corner kicks with 66.
Sporting KC leads MLS all-time in shots with 7,391 and ranks first in MLS this season with 199 shots.
The Houston Dynamo only recorded one shot on goal in the match. The one shot resulted in a goal.
Aurelien Collin, C.J. Sapong and Benny Feilhaber all missed Sunday's match due to injuries.
Soony Saad was not available for Sunday's match as he is currently with the Lebanon Men's National Team.
Sunday's attendance was 20,876, the third largest attendance at Sporting Park. The only two matches with a higher attendance were on September 28, 2012 versus the Chicago Fire (21,010) and November 7, 2012 versus the Houston Dynamo in the MLS Cup playoffs (20,894).
Houston's Bobby Boswell missed Sunday's match as he served the first of a two-game suspension, after receiving a red card in the Dynamo's match against the New England Revolution last weekend.
Sporting KC on-loan striker Dom Dwyer scored his 13th goal of the USL PRO season to lead Orlando City to a 4-1 victory over the Wilmington Hammerheads on Saturday. The goal ties the single-season scoring record for USL PRO. Fellow Sporting KC loanees Christian Duke and Yann Songo'o also started the match.
All fans who attended the match on Sunday received a Sporting Kansas City scarf courtesy of Sprint.
Jimmy Nielsen hosted a book signing in the Shield Club after Sunday's match. Fans were able to purchase a copy of Nielsen's new book "Welcome to the Blue Heaven: Don't Bet Against the Goalkeeper."
Roger Espinoza attended the match and participated in the first kick prior to the match. Espinoza and Robb Heineman visited the Boulevard Members Club to mingle with fans during the first half of the game.
The match was nationally broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network.
Sporting Kansas City boasts the best goal differential in the East, tied with the Montreal Impact (+6).
Kamara's goal breaks a tie with Mo Johnston for sole possession of 5th place in club history with 32.
Zusi's three shots break a tie with Matt McKeon for sole possession of 9th place in club history with 176.
Zusi's seven total crosses were the most among all players on the field in Sunday's match.
Houston have dropped 11 points from leading positions against Sporting KC in MLS since 2009 in the regular season.
Oriol Rosell made five interceptions in today's match. Rosell has made a league-high 77 interceptions this season. Rosell completed 94.4% of passes on Sunday; most among all players with more than 10 passes completed.