Lansing Ignite defeated Toronto FC II, 1-0, Wednesday night at Cooley Law School Stadium.
Steeve Saint-Duc scored the game’s only goal in the 61st minute after Alex Bruce played him through. Saint-Duc showed a good turn of pace to outrun Toronto’s center backs and burst into the penalty area before firing a low, left-footed shot past goalkeeper Kevin Silva to score his first goal of the season.
MOVING ON UP: Wednesday's win over Toronto moves Lansing into fourth place in the League One standings with 17 points, leaving just a six point gap between the Ignite and first-place North Texas SC. Lansing will have the opportunity to further insert themselves into the race to catch the league-leaders on Saturday when they host Orlando City B. With Toronto idle this weekend, a second consecutive win at Cooley Law School Stadium would see Lansing leapfrog TFC II in the standings and move into third place. All three clubs above Lansing in the standings have games in hand on the Ignite, but Wednesday’s victory will put pressure on North Texas and South Georgia Tormenta FC to answer with wins of their own this weekend.
SELSO SAINT SPEED: Steeve ‘Selso’ Saint-Duc looked dangerous up top all night, beating TFC II’s attempt at an offside trap with alarming regularity. Saint-Duc’s first goal of the season was enough to help Lansing take all three points at home, but he’ll feel he should have added more to the scoreline. The Haitian forward completed five dribbles, had three key passes, and got off two shots. Ignite fans should be encouraged by Saint-Duc’s performance and expect sharpness in the final third to increase as the season wears on.
DEFENSIVELY SOUND: Apart from a hiccup in which they conceded three goals to Toronto FC II in Canada a couple weeks ago, Lansing has been very strong defensively over the course of the last month. Stefan Cleveland and the Ignite have earned three clean sheets in their previous five matches, with Wednesday night’s coming against the club that has scored the second most goals in League One this season. The Chicago Fire loanee has now earned three shutouts in six matches played this season and looks to be growing in confidence each week.
HOPE ON THE HORIZON: TFC II has put in quality performances over the last month and shouldn’t let Wednesday’s result take away from that. Despite failing to find the back of the net, Toronto continued to look dangerous in the final third with Jacob Shaffelburg and Griffin Dorsey getting themselves in favorable positions on either wing. With six of their next seven matches at home, TFC II will turn towards next week with the hope that they can continue to challenge Tormenta FC and North Texas for the top spot in the standings.