Reigning League One Player of the Month Rafael Mentzingen was the difference Friday night as his 54th minute goal helped Lansing Ignite FC defeat Orlando City B, 2-1, at Montverde Academy.
Lansing’s Xavier Gomez opened the scoring in the 22nd minute from close range. Elma N’For collected a throw-in inside the penalty area, turned his defender, and knocked a back heel pass into the path of Gomez’s run. Gomez momentarily lost control of the ball, but managed to toe poke a shot past Christian Herrera for his third goal of the season.
Rafael Mentzingen doubled the Ignite’s lead just after halftime, volleying a loose ball home from eight yards out for his fifth goal of the season.
William Bagrou pulled a goal back for Orlando in the 71st minute, cleaning up a rebound following Jose Quintero’s shot from the right side of the penalty area. The goal was Bagrou’s second of the season and Orlando’s first in 391 game minutes.
OCB failed to threaten Stefan Cleveland’s goal after Bagrou halved the deficit and Lansing earned its ninth win of the season to extend its unbeaten run to eight matches. With the three points earned at Montverde Academy, the Ignite move into first place in the League One standings, two points ahead of North Texas SC who have four games in hand.
Friday’s loss was Orlando’s sixth straight and 14th overall. The Lions sit firmly in tenth place, eight points behind ninth place Richmond having played four more matches than the Kickers.