Kabongo Tshimanga scored a hat-trick as the U18s progressed to the second round of the FA Youth Cup following a 5-2 win at Cambridge United on Wednesday evening.
However, Tshimanga superbly rifled home late on from 25 yards to open up a two-goal lead, one which he extended from the penalty spot with the last kick of the game.
Tshimanga fired a warning shot as early as the second minute, driving an effort into the side-netting from a tight angle following good work by Rasulo.
The Dons’ early pressure was rewarded just two minutes later when Rasulo swept home Jacob Daffern’s pinpoint cross from 15 yards.
Mike Dove’s men continued to push forward and both Kyran Wiltshire and Rasulo saw shots well saved by the U’s keeper Ben Taylor before the first 15 minutes were up.
At the other end, Dons stopper Andrew McCorkell was called into action on two occasions, firstly to deny Matt Foy the chance to gather a loose ball and then Jordan Brown from the edge of the box.
That lifted Cambridge, who grew in stature as the midway point of the first half approached, but it was the Dons who should have gone further ahead on the half-hour mark. Firstly, Rasulo fired straight down the throat of Taylor from 12 yards before Wiltshire was thwarted by the U’s No.1 from a similar distance.
Tshimanga, though, ensured the lead was extended on 37 minutes when he finished well under Taylor from a tight angle.
Luke Tingey was in the right place at the right time to clear the danger as the U’s threatened an immediate response, and the Dons took full advantage shortly afterwards as Daffern and Rasulo combined once again, with the latter firing into the roof of the net to make it 3-0 at the break.
The first chance of the second half fell to Laurence Vaughan, who drew a save from Taylor 20 yards out while, at the other end, Adam Hunt twice headed away dangerous U’s free-kicks.
Kevin Owusu curled an effort over the top on the hour mark before Taylor turned away Wiltshire’s teasing delivery.
Taylor again thwarted Wiltshire on 65 minutes, gathering his 25-yard dipping volley, before Daffern dragged an effort just past the right-hand post as the Dons showed no signs of letting up.
However, the U’s pulled one back with 20 minutes remaining, Jake Chambers-Shaw heading home from inside the six-yard box after the hosts had recycled a corner.
It was 3-2 just two minutes later with Elliot Hogan tapping home Brown’s cut-back from close range to complete an impressive counter-attack.
McCorkell made sure the Dons remained ahead with 10 minutes left on the clock, pushing away Chambers-Shaw’s low drive from 20 yards.
However, any hopes of a dramatic comeback from the hosts were dashed on 86 minutes, when Tshimanga arrowed a stunning 25-yard strike past Taylor.
He then put the icing on the cake in the dying embers of the game, sending the keeper the wrong way from the penalty spot to complete his hat-trick and take his tally for the season to an impressive 27.
The Dons are once again on the road in round two as they travel to Newport County – a confirmed date will be announced in due course.
MK Dons: McCorkell; Tingey, Hunt, Okito (c); Daffern, Hadden, Wiltshire, Rasulo (Brittain 46), Vaughan; Owusu (Steele 73), Tshimanga.
Unused subs: Wyant, Weston, Palmiero.
Goals: Rasulo (4 & 40), Tshimanga (37 & 86, 90+4).
Bookings: Vaughan, Tingey, Hadden.