Sometimes, good things come to an end, and MNUFC2’s win streak to start the season ended following a 2-1 defeat to North Texas SC on Sunday night.
North Texas started the match off on the front foot, pressuring the Twos and holding just over 70 percent of the possession, controlling much of the first 15 minutes of the game. But MNUFC2 gained its composure and yet again found space on breakaway opportunities. In the 16th minute, midfielder Rory O’Driscoll sent a cross into the North Texas box, where a Texas defender nicked a part of the ball which then deflected right in front of midfielder Zaydan Bello. The Australian international capitalized on the chance and scored the opening goal of the game – notably notching his first-ever MNUFC2 and MLS NEXT Pro goal.
The game opened up in the second half, with both sides seeing multiple close scoring chances come up just short of a goal. But the home side found the equalizer in the 60th minute when MNUFC2 defender CC Uche’s attempt to clear the ball off a header landed at the feet of Theo Henrique, who drove into the box and scored. North Texas gained the lead late in the match when Herbert Endeley scored at close range in the 81st minute, just seconds after Fred Emmings had made a save off the line for MNUFC2.
Minnesota nearly tied it back up twice during the final minutes of the match, first when Uche connected on a header from a corner kick in the 87th minute, but the goal was ruled offside. Then in the 90th minute, O’Driscoll took a free kick from distance that barely cleared the crossbar.
With the loss, MNUFC2 drops its first match of the season and stand in third place in MLS NEXT Pro Western Conference regular-season action with a 3-1-0 record (W-L-D) and nine points.
MNUFC2 continues its road stretch as it travels west to face Whitecaps FC 2 at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada on Sunday, April 23 at 9:00 p.m. CT, and will be streamed on MLSNEXTPro.com.
1-0 MIN – Zaydan Bello (16’)
1-1 NTX – Theo Henrique (60’)
1-2 NTX – Herbert Endeley, assist by Jose Mulato (81’)
Caution, NTX – Nolan Norris (39’)
Caution, MIN – Carlos Leatherman (76’)
Caution, NTX – Carl Sainte (89’)
Caution, NTX – Tomas Pondeca (90’+6’)
16 – MNUFC2 sent in 16 crosses against North Texas on Sunday night
7 – Including midfielder Zaydan Bello’s goal on Sunday night, MNUFC2 has now had seven different goal scorers so far this season
4 – Defenders Carlos Leatherman and Britton Fischer each recorded four tackles against North Texas
TEAM LEADERS (Updated through April 16)
Goals – Diogo Pacheco (3)
Assists – Loïc Mesanvi (2)
Saves – Fred Emmings (14)
Wins – Fred Emmings (3)
Shutouts – Fred Emmings (1)