Dynamo reach final, snow stops Bulls
The Houston Dynamo held on to book a place in the Eastern Conference final of Major League Soccer's playoffs with a 1-0 defeat to Sporting Kansas City still enough to give them a 2-1 aggregate victory.
The Dynamo, beaten finalists in last year's MLS final, will play the winners of the other Eastern Conference semifinal between New York Red Bulls and D.C. United, which was postponed to Thursday because of snow in the New Jersey area.
Houston, two-times MLS Cup winners under their coach Dominic Kinnear, took a two goal lead to Kansas City and had their backs to the wall for most of the game.
Sporting enjoyed 75 percent possession in the first half but did not manage a breakthrough until a diving header in the 64th minute by Seth Sinovic from a deep Graham Zusi cross.
That prompted some frantic attacks from Kansas City but they were unable to get the second goal which would have sent the match into extra-time.
The defeat was a bitter blow for Sporting who had finished the regular season five points clear at the top of the Eastern Conference but went out to the same team who eliminated them last season.
There was disappointment of a different kind for D.C. United fans who had travelled to New Jersey for the clash with the Red Bulls but were left without a game.
After 45 minutes of attempting to clear the field of snow, officials decided to postpone the game until Thursday to the frustration of D.C. head coach Ben Olsen.
"Have you seen the field? It looks fine to me," Olsen was quoted as saying by MLSsoccer.com.
"I'm baffled that we can't play this game. It's a playable field from my end. Maybe I'm wrong.
"I'm upset because I've got some guys that, by the look in their eyes, they were ready to go today," he added.
But Red Bulls' Swedish coach Hans Backe took a different view.
"In my opinion, this was a very easy decision to postpone a game. You can't see the lines, it's not football playing on these conditions, a risk for the health of the players.
"You can't do it because this pitch is not heated. If it was a heated one, then probably you could have done it."
The tie stands at 1-1 after the first leg.
The San Jose Earthquakes defend a one goal advantage at home to defending champions Los Angeles Galaxy later on Wednesday.