Troy Taormina-US PRESSWIRE
Kansas City made a spirited attempt but couldn't overcome a two-goal aggregate deficit as Houston clinched a trip to the conference finals.
Houston didn't get a goal Wednesday night against top-seeded Sporting Kansas City, but the Dynamo didn't end up needing one anyway.
Thanks to a two-goal aggregate lead, Houston advanced to the Eastern Conference finals despite a 1-0 loss to Sporting in Kansas City. The Dynamo will face either D.C. United or the New York Red Bulls, who will play a winner-take-all match Thursday night in New York, for the right to play for the MLS Cup.
For Houston, which took the first game of the series by a score of 2-0, the goal was to keep Kansas City off the scoresheet as much as possible. Sporting broke the shutout with a goal by Seth Sinovic in the 64th minute, but the second goal that would have forced an overtime proved elusive.
This marks the second straight year in which the Dynamo has knocked Sporting out of the MLS playoffs. Last season, the two teams met in a one-game conference finals, which Houston took with a 2-0 victory. This year, Houston will play for the chance at the MLS Cup despite being the fifth and last team into the playoffs in the East.
The win was the first of the season for Kansas City against Houston, breaking an 0-2-2 slide, but the single goal wasn't enough to keep the season alive.