Lansing Ignite FC 1, Greenville Triumph SC 1
Greenville wins in Penalty Shootout
"Lansing Ignite FC should go in a solid favorite to win on home turf, especially after putting in such a lackluster display in its home finale against Forward Madison FC that opened the chance it wouldn’t host this game. I’d expect a response from the side here, and the hosts come out firing early to try and take the initiative.
But Greenville – behind its league-best defense and goalkeeper Dallas Jaye – withstands that pressure and takes the lead just after the half-hour mark as Carlos Gomez’s stellar late-season form continues to put Triumph SC ahead at halftime. Lansing rallies back and equalizes with 20 minutes to go through Rafa Mentzingen, but from there the game remains tight as each side guards against giving up a potential game-winner instead of trying to take victory inside 90 minutes.
Extra time, then, and while both teams are more attacking as the game becomes stretched through fatigue, a goal doesn’t arrive and we head to a penalty shootout. From there, the head-to-head between presumptive Goalkeeper of the Year finalists Dallas Jaye of Greenville and Stefan Cleveland of Lansing takes center stage. Jaye makes two saves to Cleveland’s one, and Tyler Polak scores the winning goal for the visitors as they spring the upset."
Beautiful Game Network
Lansing Ignite FC 3, Greenville Triumph SC 1
“This game very well could be 0-0 after 90 minutes and may not have a single shot on goal in the first 20 minutes. With the league’s second highest scoring attack facing off against its best defense, I expect this game to be a chess match with both coaches making multiple adjustments throughout.
While the Ignite’s attack shined throughout the regular season, it will be their back three that makes the difference in the playoffs. Greenville struggles to win long balls played out of the back, which Kevin Coiffic, Brandon Fricke and Grant Stoneman should be able to exploit with their passing abilities. I expect Coiffic and co. to launch long balls in behind the Greenville defense to relieve pressure and create chances at the other end for some combination of Tumi Moshobane, Rafael Mentzignen, Pato Botello Faz and Elma N’For.
Lansing looked out of the loop last week but have not lost back-to-back games since April, a trend that will continue this weekend. Pato tallies a first-half goal with Coiffic creating the chance out of the back, forcing Greenville to chase the game. The Triumph press for an equalizer and leave too much space for Mentzignen and Moshobane who both tack on goals to put this one out of reach before Greenville can provide an answer. ”
Lansing Ignite FC 1, Greenville Triumph SC 0
“After the first three meetings between the two sides, Triumph SC holds a slight head-to-head advantage over Ignite FC by virtue of a 2-1 home victory on the second week of the season that preceded a pair of 1-1 draws. That might’ve meant more to me if Greenville had secured homefield advantage with a win in either of its final two regular-season games against non-playoff sides, but since it failed leapfrog Lansing in the standings I’m more concerned about how the visitors bounce back from their first two-game losing streak of the season.
Ignite FC didn’t end the regular season particularly well either, earning a draw against South Georgia Tormenta FC before suffering its second home defeat of the campaign on the final weekend against Madison, but still managed to hold on to the second seed. That’s massive for Lansing as the side posted an 8-2-4 record at Cooley Law School Stadium during the regular season and matched North Texas with a league-high 28 goals scored on its home turf.
Greenville can counter that with its league-low of 13 goals conceded in 14 away games this season, but I think in the end Triumph SC will rue letting the opportunity to host this game at Legacy Early College slip through its hands as Nick Moon breaks the deadlock early in the second half to see Lansing through to the Final.”