MNUFC2 was narrowly defeated 1-0 by Earthquakes II at the National Sports Center Stadium on Saturday night, playing with just 10 men for 60 minutes.
The Twos began the match with multiple opportunities at goal generated by quick transitions on the counterattack. Midfielder Cameron Dunbar won a giveaway in the attacking third and played into the feet of Joseph Rosales at the top of the box. With his overlapping run, defender Mikael Marques created space for Rosales to pass into. The Stockholm native crossed the ball into the goal area where forward Emmanuel Iwe attempted to put away the pass, but his shot missed wide.
Earthquakes II were first on the scoreboard as Will Richmond ran onto a ball down the touchline, finding Roberto Hategan in the center of the goal. The forward snuck his shot past goalkeeper Fred Emmings for the 1-0 lead.
In the 30th minute, Mikael Marques was shown his second yellow card of the evening and therefore was ejected from the match. MNUFC2 would play down a man for the remainder of the game.
San Jose nearly doubled its lead in the 52nd minute but couldn’t capitalize on the shooting frenzy. Fred Emmings punched away a close-range shot from the center of the box, causing the ball to strike the post. MNUFC2 stopped the high-pressure attack by clearing the ball forward, preventing a two-goal deficit.
Despite their persistence in the final third with 16 shots and consistent ball movement, the Twos were unable to equalize. The match finished in favor of Quakes II.
With the result, MNUFC2 stand in eighth place in MLS NEXT Pro Western Conference regular-season action with a 7-7-5 record (W-L-D) and 28 points.
MNUFC2 will next host North Texas SC at the National Sports Center Stadium on Sunday, August 5th at 7:00pm CT. The match will be streamed on MLSNEXTPro.com.
0-1, SJE – Roberto Hategan, assisted by Will Richmond (21’)
Caution, MIN – Mikael Marques (5’)
Caution, ejection, MIN – Mikael Marques (30’)
Caution, SJE – Roberto Hategan (35’)
Caution, SJE – Aaron Edwards (37’)
Caution, SJE – Will Richmond (80’)
TEAM LEADERS (Updated through July 29)
Goals – Diogo Pacheco (8)
Assists – Diogo Pacheco (4)
Saves – Fred Emmings (43)
Wins – Fred Emmings (5)
Shutouts – Alec Smir (3)
HEAD COACH CAMERON KNOWLES_
On his assessment of the match…
_“The red card makes it difficult. Down a man, down a goal is tough, but I thought our overall performance for our guys was fantastic. A really fantastic the way they played; created a number of chances, we had just as many chances as they [Earthquakes II] did in the game. Kept being on the front foot, brave on the ball, guys getting forward [and] working incredibly hard. The guys who came into the game gave us a little bit of a lift as well. I feel to come out of that with nothing is really tough for the guys because they put so much into it. I feel like they deserve more out of the game.”
On a shift in the team mindset after the red card ejection and message at halftime…
“The way that they continued in that first half… the message at halftime was ‘just keep it going.’ They had done a really nice job, Zaydan [Bello] dropping in and defending on that right-hand side and then coming into midfield still in possession made it difficult. They [Earthquakes II] didn’t have a lot of solutions for that, and we were able to continue to be good on the ball, create chances. So, it was just more of the same. The chances are going to come. Let’s be composed in the moment and hopefully, we can equalize. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t the case.”
On a playoff push beginning with nine games remaining in the season…
“I think it’s just keeping everything in perspective. We know that you can get caught up in dropping points at home. We know we have the ability to pick up points on the road. We just need to continue to keep things in perspective. We’re still in a good position in terms of the opportunity to qualify for the playoffs, and there’s still a lot of games to play. There’s a lot of points to play for and a lot of teams we’re playing that are all in similar positions in the table which will make it really interesting for the run in. It’s going to come down to the last game, but we just have to keep plugging away. If we play like we did tonight for 90 minutes, I fancy our chances.”
On the key to success against North Texas SC next weekend…
“If you look at the way we were today; guys moving and wanting the ball, hungry in possession, guys being organized and disciplined defending, what we’ve done the last three or four weeks, that’s what we need to do. 16 shots that we’ve had tonight with as many goals as we’ve scored this year, I think that if we can do that and create that many chances, we’ll certainly get on the scoreboard.”
GOALKEEPER FRED EMMINGS
On the match against Earthquakes II...
"I thought we were really unlucky. Sometimes in sports, the calls don’t go your way. But I can’t fault the effort from the boys today. I thought they really put out a great showing and gave it their all.”
On the ejection in the 30th minute and how he adjusted his game…
“We tried not to change too much. Obviously, there’s a formation change and you lose a little bit in the attacking half, but the objective is still the same. The guys just have to work a little bit harder.”
On getting a positive result against North Texas SC…
“They’re [North Texas SC] a good team but so are we. We have the talent and the guys to go out there and beat them. So, we’re just going to stick to what we know and give it a hard shot.”