INDIANAPOLIS – At halftime, it certainly seemed like there would be more goals in this game. Indy’s Soony Saad got in behind once, and scored a golazo from a free kick, then Nashville’s Ropapa Mensah pulled one back shortly before halftime (and almost equalized at the death). However, it wasn’t to be, and the halftime score held as the final: Indy Eleven 2, Nashville SC 1.
A pair of first-half errors from centerback Liam Doyle may have been the difference in the game: he attempted a headed clearance instead of containing Saad on a long run, then committed the foul that led to the free kick strike. For his efforts, he was pulled for Premier League veteran David Edgar at the half.
Nashville controlled much of the play in the second frame, but again, Indy had some dangerous chances either against the run of play or at the very least outside of it. Nashville stood up to the test though, particularly keeper Matt Pickens who wasn’t truly at fault for either goal he allowed.
NSC head coach Gary Smith tried to alter momentum with just over ten minutes remaining, replacing forward Lebo Moloto and winger Alan Winn with a pair of strikers in target-man Tucker Hume and goal-scorer Robin Shroot. Despite their best efforts, though, the equalizer eluded the Boys in Gold.
The best chance came on a free kick from Michael Reed in the 88th minute, with Bradley Bourgeois’s header back across the box cleared off the line by an Indy defender. Still, this Nashville team has opened up its scoring a bit, but needs to figure out what its strategy is going to be when the team is behind late and absolutely needs a strike.
They have a bit of extra time to find that plan, with next weekend off before a mid-week game at 13th-place Penn FC, then a Sunday contest at high-scoring New York Red Bulls II. After today, that’s just two games until May 13, when Nashville will try to get revenge on a Louisville City FC team that took them down 2-0 in the season opener.
By then, hopefully there will be plenty more goals under their belt.
- 15′ IND GOAL – 14 Soony Saad from 7 Ayoze
- 26′ NSH Yellow card – 30 Bolu Akinyode
- 34′ IND GOAL – 14 Soony Saad from 99 Jack McInerney
- 37′ NSH Yellow card – 5 Liam Doyle
- 45′ NSH GOAL – 3 Ropapa from 10 Lebo Moloto
- 45′ NSH Substitution – 11 David Edgar on, 5 Liam Doyle off
- 45’+3 – Half time
- 68′ IND Substitution – 8 Matthew Watson on, 27 Nathan Lewis off
- 70′ IND Yellow card – 7 Ayoze
- 78′ NSH Substitution – 8 Robin Shroot on, 10 Lebo Moloto off
- 78′ NSH Substitution – 12 Tucker Hume on, 19 Alan Winn off
- 83′ IND Substitution – 17 Justin Braun on, 99 Jack McInerney off
- 90′ IND Substitution – 16 Juan Guerra on, 23 Zaqch Steinberger off
- 90’+5 – Full time