MNUFC2 played yet another high-scoring contest on Sunday night, drawing even with the Tacoma Defiance, 4-4, in the last moments of the match. The Twos fell in the shootout from the mark after full time, therefore only taking one point on the night.
Tacoma Defiance controlled a good portion of the first half, holding nearly 60 percent of possession while pressing high right at the opening whistle. Those two elements made for a challenging start for the Twos, and in the 8th minute, Tacoma scored the first goal of the game. Braudilio Rodrigues received a pass from a loose ball atop the Twos’ 18-yard box, and his strike went past goalkeeper Fred Emmings at the near post. MNUFC2 had its moments, though, including a midfielder Diogo Pacheco takeaway that gave him space in Tacoma’s 18, but his shot at close range was saved.
In the 44th minute of the match, MNUFC2 found it’s equalizer when midfielder Rory O’Driscoll sent in a cross to the middle of Tacoma’s 18-yard box, with Pacheco waiting and scoring off a header. The goal was the Portuguese’s sixth goal on the season, tied for second most goals scored in MLS NEXT Pro to-date.
At the start of the second half, it was all momentum in favor of the Minnesota side: The Twos first took advantage of a poor Defiance clearance that landed at the feet of Pacheco, who in turn connected with an open midfielder Molik Jesse Khan. The Trinidad & Tobago international scored from close range to give the Twos the lead. Less than five minutes later, another Tacoma turnover gave MNUFC2 a transition run at goal, where midfielder Emmanuel Iwe netted the team’s third goal of the night to extend the lead to 3-1.
But, the home side pulled one back in the 66th minute when Raul Miglietti connected on a cross and through two MNUFC2 defenders, took a shot that deflected off the post and into the net. Rodrigues scored his second goal of the game and the equalizer in the 75th minute after weaving around the Twos defense inside the 18-yard box. Tacoma regained the lead three minutes later off an Antonio Herrera breakaway that led to a scramble in front of goal, where Herrera was fed the ball again and netted the shot to give the Washington team the 4-3 lead.
In the dying moments of the game, Pacheco delivered a cross into the Tacoma six-yard box, perfectly connecting with O’Driscoll, who beat the goalkeeper to the ball and scored to equalize the match at 4-4 in the first minute of added second-half stoppage time and force a shootout from the mark to determine which side takes the extra point. Tacoma won the shootout 4-2, leaving the Twos with just one point on the night.
With the draw, MNUFC2 stand in seventh place in MLS NEXT Pro Western Conference regular-season action with a 3-2-3 record (W-L-D) and 13 points.
MNUFC2 will return home on Wednesday, May 24 to face LA Galaxy II at the National Sports Center Stadium in Blaine, Minn. Kick for the match against Galaxy II is set for 7:00 p.m. CT.
GOALS0-1 TAC – Braudilio Rodrigues, assist by Sebastian Gomez (8’)
1-1 MIN – Diogo Pacheco, assist by Rory O’Driscoll (44’)
2-1 MIN – Molik Jesse Khan, assist by Diogo Pacheco (48’)
3-1 MIN – Emmanuel Iwe, assist by Cedrik Gbo (54’)
3-2 TAC – Raul Miglietti, assist by Blake Bowen (66’)
3-3 TAC – Braudilio Rodrigues, assist by Raul Miglietti (75’)
3-4 TAC – Antonio Herrera, assist by Adolfo Ovalle (78’)
4-4 MIN – Rory O’Driscoll, assist by Diogo Pacheco (90’+1’)
Uche – Saved
Pacheco – Missed
O’Driscoll – Scored
Khan – Scored
Uderitz – Scored
Ovalle – Scored
Sousa – Scored
Daroma – Scored
DISCIPLINAIRY SUMMARYCaution, TAC – Travian Sousa (10’)
Caution, MIN – Patrick Weah (16’)
Caution, TAC – Frank Daroma (29’)
Caution, TAC – Braudilio Rodrigues (35’)
Caution, MIN – Cedrik Gbo (42’)
Caution, MIN – Rory O’Driscoll (45’+2’)
3 – MNUFC2 played in its third-consecutive shootout on Sunday night
4 – Midfielder Diogo Pacheco made four key passes against Tacoma, two of them assists, which led both sides on the night
4 – Four different Twos players scored against the Defiance, including a goal by midfielder Rory O’Driscoll, who netted his first-ever MNUFC2 goal
6 – In his 86 minutes played, midfielder Cedrik Gbo led both teams with six successful tackles out of six tackle attempts
TEAM LEADERS (Updated through May 14)
Goals – Diogo Pacheco (6)
Assists – Loïc Mesanvi, Rory O’Driscoll, Diogo Pacheco (2)
Saves – Fred Emmings (22)
Wins – Fred Emmings (3)
Shutouts – Fred Emmings (1)
HIGHLIGHTS: Tacoma Defiance vs. MNUFC2 | May 14, 2023