It was a night full of debut appearances and notable scoring milestones for MNUFC2 as it defeated Timbers2 by a score of 4-2 on Sunday night in Oregon.
Minnesota forward Tani Oluwaseyi opened the scoring when midfielder Nick Mendonca sent a long-ball pass into the Loons’ attacking half, where Oluwaseyi found open space and drilled his shot into the top of the goal, giving MNUFC2 the 1-0 lead in the 19th minute. Only three minutes later, the Loons earned a corner kick which was taken by midfielder Diogo Pacheco. The kick landed inside the six-yard box where midfielder Aziel Jackson connected and scored on a header to double the lead 2-0. But, Timbers2 responded late in the first half, slipping a shot past Loons goalkeeper Fred Emmings in the second minute of added stoppage time to cut the deficit to 2-1 before half time.
The second half saw plenty of goal-scoring chances created for both Timbers2 and MNUFC2. In the 60th minute, Portland saw a shot from distance hit the right post, which Minnesota eventually cleared. McMaster additionally had space in the box with a shot that went just wide a few minutes later. Timbers2 then equalized the game at 2-2 in the 77th minute when Ismaila Jome chipped a shot past Emmings. In the 82nd minute, Portland’s Pablo Bonilla was shown a straight red card and was ejected from the match following a forceful shove. The Loons then promptly responded and yet again scored off a header from a corner when Nabilai Kibunguchy found the back of the net in the 87th minute to give MNUFC2 the 3-2 lead. Then, in the third minute of second-half stoppage time, forward Loic Mesanvi – who made his MNUFC2 and MLS NEXT Pro debut on Sunday – netted the fourth goal of the night to seal the 4-2 victory over Timbers2.
With the win, MNUFC2 remains in the sixth position in the MLS NEXT Pro Western Conference standings (9-9-5, 36 points).
MNUFC2 next returns home to Minnesota to play in its final match of the 2022 MLS NEXT Pro regular season on Sunday, September 18 when it faces Earthquakes II at the National Sports Center Stadium in Blaine, Minnesota. Kick is set for 6:00 p.m. CT, and the contest will be streamed live at www.mlsnextpro.com.
1-0 MIN – Tani Oluwaseyi, Assist by Nick Mendonca (19’)
2-0 MIN – Aziel Jackson, Assist by Diogo Pacheco (22’)
2-1 POR – Nathan Fogaca, Assist by Ismaila Jome (45’+2’)
2-2 POR – Ismaila Jome, Assist by Selmir Miscic (77’)
3-2 MIN – Nabilai Kibunguchy (87’)
4-2 MIN – Loic Mesanvi, Assist by Tommy Williamson (90’+3’)
Yellow, POR – Siver Haugli (12’)
Yellow, MIN – Juan Mosquera (15’)
Yellow, POR – Johan Hinestroza (71’)
Red, POR – Pablo Bonilla (82’)
800 – MNUFC2 midfielder Aziel Jackson scored MLS NEXT Pro’s 800th goal in the league’s history during tonight’s match against Timbers2. The 22nd-minute goal was also his 10th tally of the season.1 – Loons forward Tani Oluwaseyi scored his first MNUFC2 and MLS NEXT Pro goal on Sunday night against the Oregon side. This season, he has made nine appearances (four starts).
1 – Forward Loic Mesanvi – a Minnesota United Academy player from Lakeville, Minnesota – scored the fourth goal on the night during his MNUFC2 and MLS NEXT Pro debut.
TEAM LEADERS (Updated through September 11)
Goals – Aziel Jackson (10)
Assists – Aziel Jackson (7)
Saves – Fred Emmings (49)
Wins – Fred Emmings (4)
Shutouts – Eric Dick (2)