After playing to a 2-2 draw in regulation at the NSC Sunday night, MNUFC2 earned a shootout win over St. Louis City 2, taking the extra point by putting away four of their five attempts from the penalty spot.
“Every time we’ve played [St. Louis], it’s been a good game so we didn’t expect anything less this time,” said MNUFC2 head coach Cameron Knowles. “Our first half, a lot of goals and in the second half, a really good battle from both teams. We were fortunate there at the end to come out with the extra point.”
St. Louis came hot out of the gates with high pressure on the Twos all over the field. City 2 found their luck first, going up over Minnesota in the 13th minute, as midfielder Faysal Bettache, atop the 18-yard-box, was able to turn and strike a bending ball into the upper left corner of the net for the lead.
MNUFC2 answered back just four minutes later when midfielder Molik Jesse Khan made a quick read on St. Louis and intercepted a pass in the attacking half. Khan began his run towards goal, joined by midfielder Emmanuel Iwe and forward Kameron Lacey. Lacey, slowing his run and losing his defender, created enough space to receive the ball from Khan and fire a cross-body shot into the far post.
Khan notched a goal of his own to give the Twos their first lead of the match in the 40th minute. Defender Devin Padelford played into the feet of the Trinidadian international, who spun off his mark to complete a give-and-go pass with midfielder Zaydan Bello. Khan dribbled his way into the six-yard-box and placed his shot into the high center of the goal.
City 2 quickly evened up the score before the whistle blew. Awarded a free kick in its defensive third, goalkeeper Michael Creek delivered a long ball over the MNUFC2 backline, allowing John Klein to take a touch and slip his shot past goalkeeper Fred Emmings.
The last 45 minutes remained scoreless for both sides but was filled with chances for the Twos and featured key saves by Emmings, therefore sending the teams into a shootout. The 19-year-old saved two penalties while his teammates converted four attempts. MNUFC2 would secure a 2(4)-2(3) shootout win and two points on the night.
“I think it was a good performance. We had a couple of chances that I think we could’ve put away but all in all, it was a good night in Minnesota,” said Khan. “We fought until the very end to get the two points. It was unfortunate not to get the three points, but I think we did a good job.”
With the result, MNUFC2 sit in sixth place in the MLS NEXT Pro Western Conference table regular-season action with 36 points.
Minnesota will next travel to Rock Chalk Park to take on Sporting KC II on Saturday, August 19th at 7 p.m. CT. The match will be streamed on MLSNEXTPro.com.