A penalty-kick goal by Cameron Dunbar was the difference on the road against LAFC2 on Wednesday night, and MNUFC2 goalkeeper Fred Emmings kept a clean sheet amidst a barrage of scoring attempts by the Hollywood side to give the Twos a 1-0 victory at Titan Stadium.
The Twos started the game off quick, pressing high on the LAFC2 defense as it tried to build out from the back. Throughout the majority of the first 45 minutes, though, the LA side held a majority of possession. But, MNUFC2 took advantage on transition moments.
In the 25th minute, winger Juan Mosquera found himself in the LAFC2 box and made an attempt to gain composure in possession, but was fouled. The referee pointed to the spot and awarded the Twos with a penalty-kick attempt. Forward Cameron Dunbar took the attempt and converted his shot in the 26th minute to give MNUFC2 the early 1-0 lead.
Again on transition in the 30th minute, the Loons saw Dunbar feed a long through-ball to midfielder Diogo Pacheco on the right wing, giving him space to make a run towards goal, but the LA defense stood firm.
The Black & Gold saw their closest first-half chance in the 43rd minute when Adrian Wibowo’s close-range shot traveled parallel to the goal line and past Twos’ goalkeeper Fred Emmings, eventually missing just wide of the far post.
In the second half, it was LAFC2 goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau who kept his California side in the mix and MNUFC2 ‘keeper Fred Emmings who helped maintain a shutout.
The next 45 minutes were full of multiple, close and chaotic scoring chances for both sides. Notably in the 50th minute, Minnesota moved the ball into the six-yard box, taking two shots at close range and both being denied by Crepeau. The Canadian international would then make another save in the 61st minute – a Pacheco shot from the left – followed by more saves on three consecutive shot attempts by forward Kameron Lacey, midfielder Rory O’Driscoll and Pacheco in the 75th and 76th minutes.
On the other end, LAFC2 were relentless in their attack to try and equalize the match. Notably in the 68th minute, a strong strike by Matthew Evans atop the 18-yard box was saved by Emmings. Then, in the 85th minute, Christopher Jaime found space inside the box, letting a shot go at goal, but Emmings made a fingertip stop to secure the 1-0 shutout victory.
With the win, MNUFC2 remain in seventh place in MLS NEXT Pro Western Conference regular-season action with a 9-7-5 record (W-L-D) and 34 points.
MNUFC2 will next return home to face St. Louis CITY2 on Sunday, August 13 at the National Sports Center Stadium in Blaine, Minnesota at 6:00 p.m. CT.
1-0 MIN – Cameron Dunbar, PK (26’)
Caution, LAFC2 – Favian Vazquez (24’)
Caution, LAFC2 – Diego Rosales (46’)
Caution, MIN – Geremy Rodas (47’)
Caution, MIN – Zaydan Bello (50’)
Caution, LAFC2 – Jassem Koleilat (64’)
Caution, MIN – Diogo Pacheco (65’)
Caution, MIN – Rory O’Driscoll (69’)
Caution, MIN – Molik Jesse Khan (86’)
Caution, LAFC2 - Jeremy Batioja (90’+2’)
3 – Forward Cameron Dunbar scored his third goal across two games tonight at LAFC2
3 – MNUFC2 goalkeeper Fred Emmings earned his third clean sheet of the season
6 – Midfielder Zaydan Bello made six successful dribbles out of seven attempts during the match
7 – Loons defender Britton Fischer had seven clearances during the win over LAFC2
TEAM LEADERS (Updated through August 9)
Goals – Diogo Pacheco (8)
Assists – Diogo Pacheco (4)
Saves – Fred Emmings (54)
Wins – Fred Emmings (7)
Shutouts – Fred Emmings, Alec Smir (3)