Dynamo returns to Houston with 2-1 deficit in 1st round of CONCACAF Champions Cup

ByMatt Guillermo KTRK logo
Thursday, February 29, 2024
Tap for ABC13 Houston 24/7 Live Stream
Watch Eyewitness News and ABC13 originals around the clock

ST. LOUIS, Missouri (KTRK) -- A 90th-minute St. Louis City S.C. goal put the Houston Dynamo behind 2-1 after the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions Cup first-round match.

The two clubs were level at a goal a piece in the second half of their game in St. Louis when Hosei Kijima hit a shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner, beating Houston goalkeeper Steve Clark.

Houston's lone goal of the evening came in the 72nd minute when Ibrahim Aliyu assisted Sebastian Kowalczyk on a fast break with a center-of-the-box kick. That goal answered the match's first goal, a header scored by St. Louis' Tim Parker on a set piece situation.

The Dynamo would have ended with two goals, but the Video Assistant Referee ruled no-score for Aliyu in the 26th minute.

The two teams play again in the second and final leg at Shell Energy Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 9:30 p.m.

The matchup will be determined by aggregate goals scored between the teams. Houston can advance by scoring at least two goals while holding St. Louis scoreless next week to advance in the CONCACAF Champions Cup, a 27-club tournament filled with teams from Canada, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America. The Dynamo can also move on based on their lone away goal by scoring just one goal and holding St. Louis scoreless.

The Dynamo earned entry in this yearly event by winning the grueling U.S. Open Cup in 2023, which unfolded in lockstep with Houston's MLS regular season.

The Dynamo must play their 2024 MLS opener against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, Feb. 24. Soccer clubs may be accustomed to playing with a handful of days' rest between matches, but Houston will be playing three in seven days.

The Houston-St. Louis winner will face off in the next round with the Columbus Crew, who earned a bye into the round of 16 by winning the MLS Cup.

The winner of the tournament earns a spot in the 2025 FIFA Club World Cup. The two games don't count toward the Dynamo's MLS record in 2024.

Tickets for the Houston-St. Louis second leg and the Dynamo's MLS Season Opener are on sale at the Dynamo's website.

And for those wondering, Houston is not scheduled to face Lionel Messi and Inter Miami during the MLS Regular Season, but the South Florida club could draw the Dynamo down the road in the CONCACAF Champions Cup. That could happen in the semifinals.

Dynamo's next five matches

  • Saturday, Feb. 24: vs. Sporting Kansas City, 7:30 p.m., MLS Season Opener
  • Tuesday, Feb. 27: vs. St. Louis SC, 9:30 p.m., 2nd leg of first round, Concacaf Champions Cup
  • Saturday, March 2: vs. Red Bull New York, 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 16: vs. Portland Timbers, 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 23: at Colorado Rapids, 8:30 p.m.

All times are Central Time