Lansing United fell to in-state foe AFC Ann Arbor 1-0 on Friday night at the East Lansing Soccer Complex.
Ann Arbor’s (4-1-1) Bruno Oliveira scored the game’s lone goal, coming off of a corner kick in the 73rd minute.
Despite the result, United (1-2-3) head coach Nate Miller felt his squad had plenty of chances to find the back of the net throughout the match.
“Sometimes in our game the margins are thin, and with one mistake and a few opportunities you don’t put away, you pay for it,” Miller said.
United finished with 15 shots, the most notable coming off the head of Stevenson Storm in the 38th minute, when the Kalamazoo native’s header in the box hit the post. Lukas Muszong, Jake Prud’homme and James DeCosemo also had shots on goal in the match, forcing Ann Arbor keeper Fabian Veit to make four saves.
On the other end of the field, United goalkeeper Jimmy Hague turned in a LAFCU Man of the Match performance, making five crucial saves in the first half before subbing off in the 39th minute due to injury.
In a 13-minute period early in the first half, the Michigan State keeper made four stops, including a double-save effort in the 26th minute on Ann Arbor’s Dario Suarez and Hector Morales.
“Jimmy saved us,” Miller said. “Jimmy was incredible. He’s a great teammate and he trains well and he’s done phenomenally well.”
Lansing came out on the offensive to start the second half, creating chances after controlling most of the ball.
After Ann Arbor’s goal, United searched for an equalizer and nearly converted in the 88th minute when a Prud’homme header in the box was stopped by a diving Veit.
“I’ve been challenging Jake and I think this was the perfect match for him,” Miller said. “I had a specific role in mind and he answered the call. He bleeds Lansing United and I think if all 11 of us (played) like that, then we win that match.”
Lansing returns to NPSL action Sunday night in Hamtramck against Detroit City FC. Kickoff at Keyworth Stadium is set for 5 p.m.