Columbus Crew had a penalty saved and a player sent off as they played out a goalless draw at Sporting Kansas City in MLS.

In a match pitting Western Conference leaders Sporting KC against Eastern Conference high flyers Columbus, Crew managed to secure a point despite playing the entire second half with 10 men.

The Crew – second in the east – had the chance to break the deadlock in the 43rd minute after Sporting KC goalkeeper Tim Melia fouled Gyasi Zardes on Sunday.

Melia, however, went from villain to hero as he saved Zardes' spot-kick at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City.

And the Crew's day got worse in first-half stoppage time when Federico Higuain was sent off following a video review for a reckless challenge on Roger Espinoza.

Sporting KC almost capitalised on their numerical advantage in the second half but Khiry Shelton's rebounded effort rattled the post in the 51st minute.

The home side continued to attack but were unable to make the breakthrough as the Crew extended their unbeaten run to seven games.

Sporting KC and Columbus are level on 25 points with Supporters' Shield leaders Atlanta United.