The Houston Dynamo scored twice in the second half to claim a 2-1 victory over Sporting Kansas City in the first match of a home-and-home set Wednesday night at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.
Houston (12-10-10, 46 points) moved into sole possession of fifth place in Major League Soccer's Western Conference, three points clear of FC Dallas and four clear of Real Salt Lake and San Jose with two matches remaining. The Dynamo improved to 11-1-4 at home.
Second-place Sporting Kansas City (12-8-12, 48 points) still has not clinched a playoff spot, and missed a chance to pull even with the Vancouver Whitecaps for the top spot in the Western Conference table.
Down a goal at halftime, Houston finally leveled the match in the 63rd minute. Tomas Martinez fired a left-footed shot to the bottom right corner of the net. He was set up by a crossing pass from near the right baseline by A.J. DeLaGarza.
The go-ahead score was an own-goal by SKC defender Erik Palmer-Brown in the 77th minute. Martinez lobbed the ball into the 6-yard box on a free kick, and Palmer-Brown tried unsuccessfully to clear it.
Jimmy Medranda drilled a strike from well outside the 18-yard box to put SKC up 1-0 in the 33rd minute. He was fed with a perfect pass from Saad Abdul-Salaam from the right wing, and Medranda blasted it past a diving Houston goalkeeper Tyler Deric. It was Medranda's second goal of the season.
Houston missed a golden chance to level the match in the 37th minute, when Andrew Wenger fed Vicente Sanchez with the ball right in front of the goal. However, Sanchez's attempt hit the crossbar and bounced away harmlessly.
Sporting's Andrew Dykstra made his first start since 2015 when he filled in for goalkeeper Tim Melia, and made three saves. Melia leads MLS with a 0.80 goals against average.
Dykstra was an offseason addition to the Sporting K.C. roster via the re-entry draft. He has played in 33 career MLS matches, making his debut in 2010.
Melia, who had played every minute of every game this season, had to leave early in the second half in the last game with a right hamstring strain. He will be sidelined for 2-to-4 weeks with the injury.
Sporting Kansas City and the Dynamo were scheduled to play in Houston on Aug. 26, but the pending arrival of Hurricane Harvey forced the postponement. The return match will be Sunday night at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kan.