MNUFC2 completed its six-game road stretch to start off the season with a 1(5)-1(6) draw at Austin FC II on Friday night, where Diogo Pacheco scored the Twos’ lone regulation goal before the Texas team equalized and then earned two points following a shootout after regulation time.
After a three-hour delay from the scheduled 6:00 p.m. CT kick, the match kicked-off and started with a quick pace from both squads. In the first 45 minutes, both teams saw scoring opportunites come up empty. MNFUC2 midfielder Emmanuel Iwe had the Twos’ closest chance of the half in the 10th minute when forward Patrick Weah sent a pass across the Austin FC II box, with the following shot just missing wide right of the far post. Austin’s pressure controlled much of the first half and was rewarded by a 42nd-minute moment where David Rodriguez found space atop the penalty area, firing off a shot towards the far corner, but Minnesota goalkeeper Fred Emmings made the punch-save to keep the score even heading into halftime.
Less than 10 minutes into the second half – and following an energized high press by MNUFC2 – the Twos broke the scoreless lock in the 54th minute when Weah broke a run between two Austin defenders, passing the ball to an open Pacheco who netted his fifth goal of the season and ultimately giving Minnesota the 1-0 lead.
In the 61st minute, Austin FC II’s Cheick Toure was shown a second yellow-card caution on the night and was ejected from the match, leaving the Texas side a man down the remainder of the contest. Following the ejection, the Verde & Black pressed for the equalizer and earned it in the 86th minute when Emmanuel Johnson won the ball off a collision with midfielder Rory O’Driscoll, tucking the shot in the lower near-post corner of the net.
After finishing the match in a 1-1 draw, the teams went to a shootout at the mark to determine who would earn the second point on the night. In the end – after eight rounds – the home side edged MNUFC2, converting six attempts to five.
With the draw, MNUFC2 stand in fourth place in MLS NEXT Pro Western Conference regular-season action with a 3-2-1 record (W-L-D) and 10 points.
MNUFC2 returns home to the National Sports Center Stadium in Blaine, Minnesota for its 2023 Home Opener against Chicago Fire FC II on Sunday, May 7 at 7:00 p.m. CT, with the contest streamed on MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app.
1-0 MIN – Diogo Pacheco, assist by Patrick Weah (54’)
1-1 ATX – Emmanuel Johnson, assist by Jonathan Santillan (86’)
Pacheco – Scored
O’Driscoll – Scored
Mesanvi – Missed
Khan – Scored
Mosquera – Missed
Richardson – Scored
Fischer – Scored
Leatherman – Saved
Rodriguez – Scored
Asensio – Saved
Noel – Missed
Johnson – Scored
Hafferty – Scored
Pineau – Scored
Santillan – Scored
Burton – Scored
Caution, ATX – Cheick Toure (45’+1’)
Caution, ATX – CJ Fodrey (56’)
Ejection (second caution), ATX – Cheick Toure (61’)
Caution, ATX – Emmanuel Johnson (90’)
Caution, ATX – Micah Burton (90’+1’)
Caution, MIN – Diogo Pacheco (90’+1’)
5 – Diogo Pacheco’s goal in regulation was his fifth of the regular season, making him tied for first in MLS NEXT Pro in goals scored with Atlanta United 2’s Nick Firmino
5/6 – MNUFC2 has scored the first goal of the game in five of their six matches to start out the season
TEAM LEADERS (Updated through April 28)
Goals – Diogo Pacheco (5)
Assists – Loïc Mesanvi (2)
Saves – Fred Emmings (19)
Wins – Fred Emmings (3)
Shutouts – Fred Emmings (1)
HIGHLIGHTS: Austin FC II vs. MNUFC2 | April 28, 2023