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Sporting, Houston renew playoff rivalry

Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Sporting Kansas City and the Houston Dynamo will meet in the playoffs for the third consecutive season as the two clubs open up their Eastern Conference finals series at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday.

The Dynamo have gotten the better of Kansas City the past two years, edging the club 2-0 in the 2011 East finals before ousting Sporting, 2-1 on aggregate, in the 2012 Eastern Conference semis.

And if Houston's come-from-behind defeat of Red Bull New York on Wednesday - which culminated with a winning goal from Omar Cummings in extra time - indicates anything, it's that the Dynamo cannot be overlooked in the postseason.

Dominic Kinnear's side, which is seeking to return to MLS Cup for the third consecutive year, looked dead to rights in its second leg encounter with the Red Bulls after Tally Hall's botched save gifted Bradley Wright-Phillips the go-ahead goal on aggregate.

But Hall made amends for his gaffe by finishing the contest mistake-free as the Dynamo went on to grab the two goals they needed to defy the odds and advance to their sixth Conference finals in their eight-year existence.

"It's a sinking feeling, but I say it all the time that eventually as a goalkeeper you're going to look like an idiot," Hall told reporters. "You're just going to look stupid. People are going to look at it on TV and say, 'What was he doing? What was he thinking?'

"You've just got to know that if it happens early or late, it doesn't matter. You've got to finish the game."

Sporting, by comparison, will be looking to turn its typical regular season dominance into playoff success. The club has not finished the regular season below third place in the Eastern Conference since 2009, but it has not managed to advance to MLS Cup since 2004.

Kansas City's route to the Conference finals this term has been anything but smooth. After suffering a 2-1 loss to the New England Revolution in the opening leg of their Eastern Conference semifinals, the club battled back to get a 2-1 victory during regulation of the return match before clinching the aggregate win behind Claudio Bieler's goal in extra time.

It was Bieler's first goal in the run of play since July, and his return to the scoresheet was a great sight for Sporting head coach Peter Vermes.

"Claudio and I had a talk here last week and I said to him that there's more soccer to play here," said Vermes. "You don't understand yet what the playoff environment is like, but the opportunities are going to come and you're going to put one away for us or maybe two and they're going to be big goals. Him going on and finding his right place on the field during a couple of those situation were huge for us.

"He is what he is: a goal scorer. And it's great to see him get confidence on that goal because we need him down the stretch here."

11/08 16:06:13 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHR 4
DUR 8
 
11:05am Today
CHR
DUR
 
7:00pm Tonight
MIA
CHA
Final
PIT 1
CIN 4
Final
CLE 2
KAN 8
Final
WAS 2
ANA 7
Final
TOR 9
BAL 3
Final
DET 8
CWS 6
Final
ATL 0
MIA 1
Final
TAM 7
MIN 3
Final
BOS 3
NYY 9
Final
NYM 0
STL 3
Final
CHC 9
ARI 2
Final
MIL 1
SDP 2
Final
COL 2
SFG 1
Final
OAK 4
TEX 5
Final
SEA 2
HOU 5
Final
LOS 2
PHI 3
12:10pm Today
ATL
MIA
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
ARI
 
3:10pm Today
COL
SFG
 
3:35pm Today
OAK
TEX
 
3:40pm Today
SEA
HOU
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
CIN
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
KAN
 
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
ANA
 
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
BAL
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CWS
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
MIN
 
7:10pm Tonight
BOS
NYY
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
STL
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIL
SDP
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
PHI
 
Final
IND 101
ATL 85
Final
TOR 100
BRK 95
Final
CHI 99
WAS 101
7:00pm Tonight
MIA
CHA
8:00pm Tonight
SAN
DAL
9:30pm Tonight
HOU
POR
Final
MON 4
TAM 3
Final
DET 0
BOS 3
Final
PHI 1
NYR 4
Final
LOS 3
SJS 4
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
PIT
8:00pm Tonight
DAL
ANA
9:30pm Tonight
CHI
STL
Final
CHR 4
DUR 8
 
11:05am Today
CHR
DUR