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2017 Major League Soccer, Knockout - Western Conf
  • Alberth Elis (94')

Alberth Elis' extra-time goal helps Houston eliminate Sporting KC

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Houston 1-0 Sporting KC: Elis the hero (2:32)

Alberth Elis broke the deadlock in extra time to send the Houston Dynamo to the Western Conference semifinals. (2:32)

Alberth Elis scored the lone goal of the match as the Houston Dynamo beat Sporting Kansas City 1-0 in a MLS Western Conference knockout round playoff on Thursday.

Ike Opara and Gerso both went close just past the quarter-hour mark, with the former heading over the bar and the latter firing a low line drive from 20 yards away that just missed to the left of the Houston goal.

At the other end, Juan Cabezas' header from a Adolfo Machado cross sailed over Andrew Dykstra's goal on 20 minutes.

Dykstra was called into action in the 35th minute and did well to punch a dangerous Tomas Martinez cross out of the area with Erick Torres lurking for Houston.

Sporting had another chance minutes later on the counter-attack, but Tyler Deric was quick enough off his line to shut down the move with a nice save after Gerso had gotten free in the area.

Ilie Sanchez gifted Houston a great chance early in the second half when he tripped up Elis just outside the penalty area, but Torres sailed the ensuing free kick well over the bar as the stalemate continued.

Opara looked to finally have broken the deadlock in the 76th minute when he headed home a Graham Zusi cross, but the linesman's flag was up for offside and the goal was ruled out.

Just like the previous match of the night between Atlanta and Columbus, the two teams headed to extra time after 90 minutes of scoreless soccer, but unlike the early game this one wasn't destined for penalties.

Elis left no doubt from six yards out after Vicente Sanchez's centering pass found him all alone in front of goal. The Honduras international took two touches for good measure before slotting home past Dykstra for the decisive goal of the match.

And Elis tried to return the favor to Sanchez, setting him up with an inch-perfect pass in front of the Sporting goal, but the Dynamo No. 10 fluffed his lines and shanked an easy shot wide of the mark.

Houston will now face Portland in the semifinals, with Seattle and Vancouver playing in the other two-legged tie out west.

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