Photo courtesy of Andrew Herner/LIFC
LANSING, Mich. – Lansing Ignite FC has been a tough opponent all season, but Saturday night’s 4-1 win over North Texas SC proves the team is getting stronger as the season progresses. Pato Botello-Faz, Elma Nfor and Tumi Moshobane led the pack, as LIFC advanced to first place and extended its consecutive-game winning streak to nine in front of 2,757 fans at Cooley Law School Stadium.
"These are the games we want to play," LIFC Head Coach Nate Miller said. "These are the games where you need big characters and a team with a lot of character. I thought the performance was amazing. I just think that we played at a tempo that the opponent couldn’t handle, and we finished our chances – just a great team performance."
LIFC got the ball rolling with a goal scored by Botello-Faz in the eighth minute of play. Nick Moon pass into the box rolled by all of the North Texas defenders and directly into the path of Botello-Faz, leading to the first goal of the match.
LIFC nearly scored another goal five minutes later after a foul by North Texas led to a short pass from Moon to Xavier Gomez. Elma Nfor made a running attempt to head the ball in but had too much power and sent it over the crossbar.
Nfor would get vengeance in the 50th minute, however, after a short pass from Tumi Moshobane helped him score LIFC’s second goal of the night.
With nearly 20 minutes left in the match, LIFC would score back-to-back goals by Botello-Faz and Moshobane to give LIFC a 4-0 lead, its largest scoring margin in the USL League One season.
"I believe we're the best team in the league," Botello-Faz said. "Before, they were first place, but I still thought we were the best team in the league, and I think we showed that tonight. We have to keep showing that every week from now on until the playoffs."
In the 69th minute, Moon passed to Botello-Faz, who was positioned perfectly to make a running kick and net the ball out of reach of Avilez. Two minutes later, Rafa Mentzingen put the ball in perfect reach of Moshobane, who would score LIFC’s fourth and final goal of the night.
North Texas SC’s only goal of the night came in the 86th minute from a penalty kick scored by Oscar Romero. Despite the attempt to make a comeback, nothing could overshadow LIFC’s dominating performance, strong defensive back line or successful scoring opportunities.
LIFC’s 4-1 victory puts the team in first place with a 10-5-9 record and 39 points. It currently leads the league with 35 goals and 10,083 passes. It will face off against seventh-place FC Tucson on Sept. 6 from Kino Sports Complex.
PATO BOTELLO-FAZ: The forward led the way with two goals on the night and completed 75 percent of his passes throughout the match.