In a back-and-forth match at the National Sports Center in Blaine Wednesday night, defender Juan Mosquera buried a late game-winning goal, lifting MNUFC2 to a 3-2 victory.
“Great three points and really important three points for us,” said MNUFC2 manager Cameron Knowles. “I think in the balance of the play we deserved the win.”
Forward Kameron Lacey, in his MNUFC2 home debut, set the tone of the match with an early shot on target, striking the crossbar in the 5th minute. Shortly after Lacey’s attempt at goal, Los Dos was ready for revenge. Galaxy II struck early in the 10th minute with a close-range goal to put the California side up early in the first half.
It wasn’t long before defender Britton Fischer found the equalizer for the Twos off a header into the upper right corner, his first MNUFC2 and professional goal. Fischer’s goal was assisted by midfielder Diogo Pacheco with service from a corner kick in the 18th minute.
“I’m very happy for Britton to get that moment,” said Knowles. “He’s obviously a big presence and so to be able to find him, it’s another great tool for us to have in terms of a scoring weapon.”
The start of the second half was split evenly between both sides with chances at net. Goalkeeper Fred Emmings came up with a big save in the 55th minute when LA Galaxy II launched a shot from outside the box. Emmings got his hands on the ball, eventually tipping it over the post.
MNUFC2 had a solid opportunity for the go-ahead goal with a high press into the Galaxy II box. Midfielder Cedrik Gbo took a shot from the top of the box but was deflected and fellow midfielder Emmanuel Iwe attempted to redirect the shot back at goal and was blocked again, where then midfielder Molik Jesse Khan took his chance and his shot was saved.
The Twos were able to capitalize on their scoring opportunities in the 68th minute. While Pacheco sprinted into the box, defender Carlos Leatherman made an overlapping run towards the goal line and crossed the ball to Iwe, whose shot was first blocked by Jillson Simon, but was able to control the rebound and find the back of the net for the lead. Iwe’s goal was his third of the MLS NEXT Pro regular season.
LA Galaxy II answered back in the 77th minute when Aaron Bibout sprinted towards the far post for a cross from Adrian Gonzalez, where he was able to head the ball past Emmings for the 2-2 equalizer.
MNUFC2 remained persistent to earn its first win at home. In the last three minutes of the match, Juan Mosquera struck a shot from the left side of the box and scored the game-winning goal, his second tally of the season. Pacheco was awarded the assist, his second of the night.
“[Pacheco] just keeps showing up on the stat sheet,” said Knowles. “He’s doing a really nice job of executing in good moments…You go back to last week with the performance he had as well, so he’s been steady.”
With the win, MNUFC2 stand in fifth place in MLS NEXT Pro Western Conference regular-season action with a 4-2-3 record and 16 points.
MNUFC2 will next welcome Colorado Rapids 2 to the National Sports Center Stadium this Sunday, May 28 at 5 p.m. CT. The contest will be streamed on MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app.