An attacking clinic from Minnesota United 2 saw them claim all three points a 4-0 victory over Colorado Rapids 2 Sunday afternoon at Allianz Field in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Earning their second straight win of the season, MNUFC2 was led by a bolstered starting XI featuring seven first-team contributors for Minnesota United FC, headlined by Designated Player, Adrien Hunou.
An 88th-minute strike from Justin McMaster and another from Aziel Jackson in the 93rd secured all three points for the home side, capitalizing on a lead earned before the halftime break.
Defensive midfielder Nabilai Kibunguchy opened the scoring in the 38th minute, finding the top right corner of the net from outside the box. Kibunguchy has now found the back of the net in back-to-back games. He, Jackson, and McMaster all registered their second of the season in Sunday's win.
Hunou doubled the home side's lead just before the halftime break in added time. The Frenchman made a forward run into the box after the ball was delivered on a platter for him by Abu Danladi, to tap into the back of the net.
Colorado Rapids 2 forward Dantouma Toure was sent off in the 71st minute of play after receiving a second yellow card.
Through three matches this season, Rapids2 are still looking for their first MLS NEXT Pro win and will have a bye week to regroup before returning to action on May, 1 against Timbers2. MNUFC2 travels to St Louis CITY2 next weekend looking to deliver the hosts their first loss of the season.
The Story: Minnesota United 2 taking shape as an MLS NEXT Pro side
With the second win in as many weeks, Minnesota United 2 are finally taking shape as a roster and as a team in their inaugural MLS NEXT Pro season.
MNUFC2 did not allow a single shot from Rapids2 all match and offered nine shots on target.
The convincing performance is a clear turnaround compared to the winless start to the season where two consecutive losses produced a -4 goal differential. The Minnesota side's latest showings in back-to-back weeks have quickly brought its goal differential back to the positive and into the Western Conference playoff picture.
The advantage of having first-team talent available has been key in the improvement. Sunday saw seven Minnesota United first-teamers in their win, and look no further than Hunou and Danladi's combination in the first half to show how dangerous the MNUFC2 attacking corps can be when they are included.
Three of MNUFC2's goal scorers on Sunday notched their second goals of the campaign. The four-goal outburst on the heels of a 3-0 win last week proves that the goal has finally opened up, and the club looks primed to capitalize on its positive run of form.
Week 5's trip to St Louis CITY2 becomes a must-watch, as it has developed into a clash between two of the top Western Conference sides going head-to-head.