Match Recap | MNUFC2 - 1, Real Monarchs - 2


MNUFC2 had an uphill battle on Wednesday night near the Great Salt Lake as the squad battled the Real Monarchs with only 10 men for nearly the entire match, ultimately succumbing to a narrow 2-1 defeat on the road.

Just two minutes into the match, MNUFC2 defender Tamer Ibsais was ejected after he was shown a straight red card off a challenge on an early Real Monarchs’ scoring opportunity. The play that led up to the ejection of Ibsais saw Monarchs forward Zavier Gozo break free and take space behind the Twos’ back line. Ibsais was trailing just behind Gozo and gave him a tug on the jersey just before a shot on goal was taken. The referee allowed the play to finish before he showed Ibsais off and gave the home side a free kick just outside the goalkeeper’s box.

The Twos, with a man down, continued to feel the pressure of the Monarchs in their defensive third. In the 13th minute, the Salt Lake side found themselves with another shot just outside the 18-yard line, but Daron Iskenderian’s shot missed just above the goal.

Just one-third of the first half played, another free kick was given to the Monarchs in MNUFC2’s defensive third after a handball was called against the Twos. The free kick curved just right of the goal, keeping the score 0-0.

After being on the back foot for nearly the first 20 minutes, MNUFC2 forward Loïc Mesanvi scored the first goal of the match in the 21st minute after a long ball from Harvey connected with Mesanvi on the right side of the flank. After Mesanvi weaved through two defenders, he fired a shot toward the open left corner of the goal and found the back of the net to give the Twos the 1-0 lead.

In the 39th minute, the Monarchs scored and equalized the match. The ball was slotted from atop the 18-yard box where Daron Iskenderian fired the first shot. The shot was saved by MNUFC2 goalkeeper Alec Smir while the rebound landed in favor of the Salt Lake side, giving them a second shot on goal, where Zavier Gozo capitalized.

The Real Monarchs started the second half with a strong momentum. An opportunity arose for them in the 49th minute to take the lead, when Gozo split the MNUFC2 defense, allowing another chance on goal. Smir, off his line, picked off the ball gaining possession for the Twos.

Continuing their pressure on offense, the Salt Lake squad took the lead in the 60th minute when a long ball was played over the top to Iskenderian, who found Gozo off a one-touch from the left side of the pitch. Gozo, from inside the box unmarked, scored his second goal of the game.

Smir in the 87th minute of the match had a double save, keeping the Salt Lake side to a one goal lead, preventing the score from being extended before the end of the match.

One minute into stoppage time, the Twos had a goal scoring opportunity from a free kick. Throwing everything at the Real Monarchs to finish the match, MNUFC2 upped their final third pressure. Smir served a long ball – from nearly the center circle – into the Monarchs’ six-yard box, which was nearly taped-in but ultimately cleared away by the home team.vThe score finished 2-1 in favor of the home team.

MNUFC2 next will face Michigan Stars FC in the Second Round of the 2024 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at Allianz Field in Saint Paul, Minnesota on Tuesday, April 2 at 7:30 p.m. CT.


1-0 MNUFC2 – Loïc Mesanvi, assisted by Carlos Harvey (21’)
1-1 Real Monarchs – Zavier Gozo (39’)
1-2 Real Monarchs – Zavier Gozo, assisted by Daron Iskenderian (60’)


Ejection, MNUFC2 – Tamer Ibsais (2’)
Caution, Real Monarchs – Omar Alba (15’)
Caution, MNUFC2 – Carlos Harvey (44’)
Caution, Real Monarchs – Izahi Amparo (45’+3’)
Caution, Real Monarchs – Zavier Gozo (55’)
Caution, MNUFC2 – Jeremy Hall (61’)
Caution, Ejection, MNUFC2 – Jeremy Hall (64’)
Caution, Real Monarchs – Ilijah Paul (69’)
Caution, Real Monarchs – Daron Iskenderian (80’)
Caution, Real Monarchs – Zack Farnsworth (90’+7’)


1 – MNUFC2 forward Loïc Mesanvi scored his first goal of the 2024 campaign tonight, while Minnesota United midfielder Carlos Harvey provided his first MLS NEXT Pro assist of the season.

TEAM LEADERS (Regular-Season Only, Updated through March 27)

Goals – Jordan Adebayo-Smith, Loïc Mesanvi (1)
Assists – Carlos Harvey, Molik Jesse Khan (1)
Saves – Alec Smir (9)
Wins – N/A
Shutouts – N/A