MNUFC2 was California dreaming on Sunday night as goals from Tani Oluwaseyi and Emmanuel Iwe secured the 2-1 victory over LA Galaxy II, thus remaining unbeaten in its first three matches of the 2023 campaign.
For those looking for a high-intensity match between the two Western Conference sides, the first half surely provided. MNUFC2 used a high press on LA Galaxy II, which proved immediately impactful, as the Twos opened the scoring in the third minute. Midfielder Rory O’Driscoll threaded the needle with his pass from midfield to forward Tani Oluwaseyi, who split both centerbacks and his shot from atop the box gave the Loons the early 1-0 lead. But Galaxy II stormed back and just three minutes later scored the equalizer off a failed MNUFC2 clearance. Before halftime, Oluwaseyi drove towards goal and earned a penalty kick after being fouled inside the penalty area. Midfielder Emmanuel Iwe took the attempt and converted, scoring the eventual game-winner for the Twos in the 36th minute.
Notably, O’Driscoll’s assist on Oluwaseyi’s first-half goal was the midfielder’s first-ever MNUFC2 and professional assist provided. Additionally, Oluwaseyi’s goal in the third minute was the quickest-ever goal scored for MNUFC2, beating the previous mark set last year by MNUFC Academy player Andrew Brown’s 12th-minute goal against Whitecaps FC 2 on May 21, 2022.
The second half saw the pace slow down, slightly, for both MNUFC2 and LA Galaxy II. But the California side put on pressure of their own with multiple scoring attempts throughout the second 45 minutes, particularly from Aaron Bibout. In the 66th minute, Emmings came off his line to make two quick blocks, but Galaxy II shot a third – on target – that defender Britton Fischer then saved with a header over the woodwork to keep the score at 2-1. The Twos kept a second-half clean sheet and earned their third-straight win to start the season.
With the win, MNUFC2 remains unbeaten and in first place in MLS NEXT Pro Western Conference regular-season action with a 3-0-0 record (W-L-D) and nine points.
MNUFC2 continues its road stretch as it next travels to face North Texas SC at Choctaw Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Sunday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. CT, and will be streamed on MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app.
1-0 MIN – Tani Oluwaseyi, assisted by Rory O’Driscoll (3’)
1-1 LAG – Brandon Tellez, assisted by Aaron Bibout (6’)
2-1 MIN – Emmanuel Iwe (PK, 36’)
Caution, MIN – Geremy Rodas (11’)
Caution, LAG – Marcelo Fazzio Sarvas (36’)
Caution, MIN – Britton Fischer (77’)
Caution, LAG – Adrian Gonzalez (90’+3’)
3 – Forward Tani Oluwaseyi scored the opening goal in the third minute, marking the quickest-ever scored goal in MNUFC2 history
7 – MNUFC2’s attack won key possession in the attacking third seven times against Galaxy II
7 – Defender Britton Fischer led the Twos with seven clearances on the night
TEAM LEADERS (Updated through April 9)
Goals – Diogo Pacheco (3)
Assists – Loïc Mesanvi (2)
Saves – Fred Emmings (10)
Wins – Fred Emmings (3)
Shutouts – Fred Emmings (1)
GOAL: Tani Oluwaseyi, MNUFC2 - 3rd minute
PK GOAL: Emmanuel Iwe, MNUFC2 - 36th minute