Sporting KC II (1-0-1, 4 points) took home its first-ever MLS NEXT Pro victory, after defeating MNUFC 2 (0-2-0, 0 points) at Allianz Field in MLS NEXT Pro's game of the week.

SKC II jumped out to the early lead in the second minute of the match and never looked back. Collin Fernandez opened the scoring in the second minute, thanks to a Julian Vazquez assist before Mataeo Bunbury doubled the lead on the other side of the half off a Fernandez assist.

"I thought the guys came out and played really well at the beginning of the game," said SKC II head coach Benny Feilhaber about the match. "We had a few chances and put one of them away. Playing away from home is more difficult to hold a high level of possession and create chances when you go up but the guys worked hard, fought and were able to maintain the result."

Although SKC II scored in the second minute, the first goal of the match nearly came sooner when Rauf Salifu was played on goal by TJ Fatah. Salifu was able to get a shot on target but, Minnesota's keeper Fred Emmings made a save with his leg and then pawed the ball away before it could cross the goal line.

Moments later, SKC II got their goal when Vazquez made a move, got to the endline and found Fernandez's run in the middle of the box. The SKC II captain took one touch before deftly guiding the ball past Emmings. Minnesota nearly equalized in the 11th as Niko Hansen fired a shot that looked goalbound but careened off the corner of the crossbar and away from the danger area.

Neither side had any clear-cut chances for the majority of the first half as both teams found their legs in the match. MNUFC 2 put their first shot on target off the foot of Justin McMaster, but the attempt was sent right at Kendall McIntosh who made the routine save. Minnesota made one final first-half attack in the 44th as the ball pinged around SKC II's box. Jahon Rad stepped up, took control of the play and cleared the ball as SKC II took a one-goal advantage into the break.

On the other side of halftime, Feilhaber made one change bringing on Bunbury for Fatah. MNUFC 2 got the half rolling with an attempt on goal that McIntosh saved by smacking the shot away from goal after dropping down to his right. McIntosh was called on again in the 54th making a routine save by slapping the ball down and catching it on a hop.

The first-team loanee made arguably his best save of the night not a minute later when he dashed off his line at the perfect time, cut down the angle with precision and slid in to save a one-v-one and maintain SKC II's one-goal lead. The SKC II offense gave their keeper a breather as they launched a pair of attacks of their own.

The first one saw Vazquez attempt a shot from a tight angle which took a wicked deflection goalward. Emmings, somehow made the save, playing the ball over the bar at the last second. The insurance goal came a little under five minutes later in the 63rd as Fernandez spread the ball out wide to Bunbury. The Sporting KC Academy product rolled the shot underneath the charging Emmings and into the back of the net for his first professional goal.

The rest of the match consisted of SKC II's backline and midfield consistently shutting down MNUFC 2's attacks with slide tackles and superb marking in the box. McIntosh was not called on to make any more saves as J. Rad, Aljaz Dzankic, Kayden Pierre and Spencer Glass stood strong for the final 30 minutes, securing the first clean sheet of the season for SKC II.

SKC II will now return to Kansas for their inaugural match at Rock Chalk Park in Lawrence, Kansas on Sunday, April 10 at 6 p.m. CT against Houston Dynamo 2.

2022 MLS NEXT Pro | Match 2
Allianz Field | Saint Paul, Minnesota
Weather: Snowy and 37 degrees

Sporting KC II 2-0 MNUFC 2
Score
1
2
F
Sporting Kansas City II
1
1
2
MNUFC 2
0
0
0

Sporting Kansas City II: Kendall McIntosh, Kayden Pierre, Aljaz Dzankic, Jahon Rad, Spencer Glass; Kaveh Rad (Esai Easley 88'), Collin Fernandez, Ozzie Cisneros (Curtez Kellman 73'); TJ Fatah (Mataeo Bunbury 46'), Rauf Salifu (Dembakwe Yomba 72'), Julian Vazquez (Bakary Bagayoko 60')
Subs Not Used: Ethan Bandre, Coby Jones, Cole McLagan Nico Pendleton,

MNUFC 2: Fred Emmings; Nabilai Kibunguchy, Jason Ramos, Chinenye Uche, Devin Padelford; Nicholas Mendonca (Veljko Petkovic 76'), Jacori Hayes, Niko Hansen, Justin McMaster, Emmanuel Iwe (Diogo Pacheco 77'); Thomas Williamson (Aziel Jackson 46')
Subs Not Used: Alec Smir, A. Brown, J. Cetina, Joseph Rosales, A. Mator

Scoring Summary:
SKC -- Collin Fernandez 1 (Julian Vazquez 2) 2'
SKC -- Mataeo Bunbury 1 (Collin Fernandez 1) 63'

Misconduct Summary:
MIN -- Nabilai Kibunguchy (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 30'
SKC -- Curtez Kellman (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 73'
MIN -- Aziel Jackson (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 78'
SKC -- Esai Easley (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 89'

Match Statistics
Stat
SKC
MIN
Shots
5
10
Shots on Goal
5
3
Saves
5
1
Fouls
14
16
Offsides
1
1
Corner Kicks
3
6