Darwin Quintero scored twice and added an assist as the last-place Houston Dynamo defeated first-place Sporting Kansas City 5-2 Tuesday night at Children's Mercy Park. It was the first win in Kansas City for Houston since 2014.
Attendance was limited to 2,000 fans. It was the first sporting event with fans in attendance in the Kansas City metro area since the opening night of the Big 12 men's basketball tournament on March 11. It was the first match of any kind at Children's Mercy Park since Sporting defeated the Dynamo in the second game of the MLS season March 7.
The Dynamo had scored a total of six goals in its first six matches, but they took the early lead on a blown defensive play in the 17th minute. Quintero found Alberth Elis wide open right in front of the goal.
Heavy pressure by Sporting KC paid off in the 26th minute. Gerso Fernandez crossed the ball from the right side. A loose ball fell to the feet of Johnny Russell, who fired it into the net.
Quintero, Elis and Russell are three of five MLS players who have collected at least 20 goals and 20 assists since the beginning of the 2018 season.
In the 44th minute, Houston again took advantage of a defensive breakdown. Elis was left open on the right side. He found Christian Ramirez in the middle of the box, and Ramirez redirected it past goalie Tim Melia for a 2-1 lead.
Each team scored a fluky goal in the first four minutes of the second half. Elis was subbed out at halftime, and his replacement, Niko Hansen, scored on a break-away, chipping the ball past a charging Melia in the 48th minute. But Gadi Kinda answered a minute later when he bicycled a rebound inside the six-yard box.
Quintero then put Houston up 4-2 from just outside the box in the 57th minute. Darwin Ceren back-footed the ball to Quintero, who fired it past a diving Melia. Quintero's second goal in the 61st minute gave Houston a commanding lead.