Halftime reset: Nashville SC 0-0 FC Cincinnati

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NASHVILLE – If an attendance falls in the forest, and there are no FC Cincinnati fans to brag/complain about it, does it make a sound? The early report from Nissan Stadium is that it sounds a heck of a lot like the Boys in Gold hitting posts.

The home of the Tennessee Titans is far from full, but the sparsest sections of all are those that FCC supporters insisted they’d fill to the gills, while on the field, the team they support is faring only slightly better. Nashville SC has run up a 60.1-39.9% possession advantage, has 13 shots to Cincinnati’s five (three on goal to zero – and none particularly close – for the league leaders) and has generally looked the better team through 46 minutes.

The trick though? No goals means that all the possession advantage in the world is meaningless. With a scoreless draw at the half, any disadvantage Cincinnati has in the run of play can be erased immediately with a single strike. While FCC hasn’t truly threatened that (while Nashville has hit a post and a crossbar), a single bolt of lightning would be enough to completely change the tenor of this game.

Nashville, with went with close to a Best-XI lineup, has dominated without being able to find the back of the net, despite the chances (and a couple separate fouls on a single play that probably should have resulted in at least one penalty call) to find the opening goal. The game has devolved into other chippiness thanks to… hesitance from center referee Lorent Varga to go to the pocket on obvious yellow card situations – and even one that should have been a red. Whether it was NSC centerback Bradley Bourgeois seemignly inches from throwing a punch, or extremely dangerous tackles from behind, it’s clear the man in the middle needs to have a better second frame or somebody will leave this game with injury.

As exciting as Nashville’s play has been going forward, it’s entirely possible that doesn’t come until after the home side has built an advantage.

Starting lineups

Nashville

  • 18 Matt Pickens
  • 2 Justin Davis
  • 5 Liam Doyle
  • 22 Bradley Bourgeois
  • 27 Kosuke Kimura
  • 19 Alan Winn
  • 30 Bolu Akinyode
  • 17 Michael Reed
  • 20 Matt LaGrassa
  • 10 Lebo Moloto
  • 32 Brandon Allen

Cincinnati

  • 1 Evan Newton
  • 23 Blake Smith
  • 3 Forrest Lasso
  • 21 Dekel Keinan
  • 32 Justin Hoyte
  • 19 Corben Bone
  • 13 Michael Lahoud
  • 6 Kenney Walker
  • 5 Nazmi Albadawi
  • 45 Emmanuel Ledesma
  • 11 Danni Konig

Match events

  • 15′ NSH Yellow card – 10 Lebo Moloto (foul)
  • 17′ CIN Yellow card – 21 Dekel Keinan
  • 45’+1 Half time

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