KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Andre Hainault scored his second goal of the postseason, and the Houston Dynamo reached the MLS Cup final by beating Sporting Kansas City 2-0 on Sunday in the Eastern Conference title game.
Carlo Costly added a late insurance goal for Houston, which extended its unbeaten streak to nine and reached the league final for the first time since winning back-to-back championships in 2006 and 2007.
The Dynamo play the winner of the Real Salt Lake-Los Angeles Galaxy game.
Kansas City, which rebounded from an 0-6-1 start to finish atop the East in the regular season, has not made the title game since finishing as the runner-up in 2004.
The win also puts the Dynamo in the CONCACAF Champions League for the 2012-13 season. Houston last qualified for the competition in 2009-10.
Hainault put Houston up 1-0 in the 53rd minute, tapping in Jermaine Taylor's headed pass after a free kick by Adam Moffat.
Taylor was a first-half injury replacement for playmaking midfielder Brad Davis. Davis, who led MLS with 16 assists this season, injured his right quadriceps trying to tackle the ball away from Sporting's Graham Zusi in the 37th minute.
Costly's goal came in the 87th minute, with Sporting pushed forward in search of an equalizer. He took a long pass from Luiz Camargo, beat defender Aurelien Collin into open space, and slotted the ball past keeper Jimmy Nielsen from the top of the penalty area.