Solignac, stationed with his back to the St. Louis net in the 28th minute, tracked a flighted ball from Brandon Vincent, stationed 20 yards behind by the near sideline.
That goal proved the difference as the Fire advanced into fifth round of the U.S. Open Cup with the 1-0 victory. "Long balls behind the back, every time the ball bounces it doesn't run, just stops, so it was another hard test for our defenders but they did well, they adjusted well and in the end we kept the clean sheet, which is something that counts a lot in these kinds of games". "It was going to take a while for us to adjust and we knew we couldn't get frustrated". Saint Louis' Christian Volesky nearly evened the match in the 68th with a post shot of his own.
Saint Louis FC coach and U.S. Soccer Hall of Famer Preki, who used to score some incredible goals himself, could only shake his head.
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After Saint Louis controlled the opening 12 or 13 minutes, the club was almost undone early on when Fire midfielder Juninho struck the frame on a 14th-minute free kick.
Of course, the defensive unit can likely expect to stay out of the spotlight if Fire goal-scorers continue to turn in more finishes like the memorable one provided by Solignac in the 27th minute. "It's instinct but it's watching a lot of football, a lot of finishing, when you get the chance to do it and hopefully get it in, it's important".
It was Solignac's first career goal in the Open Cup and his fourth in all competitions this season with the Fire. With Wednesday's tricky test behind them, Paunovic's side can now begin navigating the challenges posed by a quick road trip to Foxborough. "I think the mentality we had in the second half especially helped the team to forge the character that we have this year".
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