Any lingering worry about the early-season returns from Nashville SC’s season (and the offensive output, in particular) can be put to bed, at least for now. Against an Ottawa Fury side that had allowed just one goal through the first two games of the season, NSC striker Daniel Ríos scored a pair of goals and Tucker Hume added another to bring the Boys in Gold to 2-1-1 on the year.
Nashville’s own scoring output for the year was doubled, with three goals through three games matched in one afternoon in Ottawa.
“As I said to the group afterwards, we didn’t give up many opportunities for them, and in the meantime, got some for us,” head coach Gary Smith said. “It’s always a difficult journey [to Ottawa], a difficult surface to play and Ottawa is difficult defensively. It was more important for me to see what we worked on this week show itself on the pitch, and for the most part, it did.”
Ríos opened the scoring by chipping Ottawa keeper David Monsalve in the 33rd minute. Hume would double it in the 67th, cutting onto his left foot inside the box and banging it home top-corner. Ríos added the finishing touch in the 80th, coolly slotting home a rebound from a Kharlton Belmar shot.
“He’s certainly filled that void of a marksman,” Smith said of Ríos. “In terms of what and how we are creating, certainly in the first three games, we looked at that and felt we could improve. Today, we have seen that. When you are playing two out-and-out strikers, it gives those providers more to find in front of goal. Daniel has been a good target for us this year.”
Nashville’s early-season tendency to dominate possession but struggle to create meaningful chances was reversed for the second straight game, with NSC notching only 35% of possession, but launching 16 shots in comparison to just four for the Fury. There are areas for further improvement, too, with just a 72% passing accuracy for the game and four times caught offside. However, those could be considered indications of the team being a little more daring going forward (and against what has traditionally been a good defensive team), a welcome change for Nashville fans.
The game was Nashville’s first in a couple weeks, having had a bye last weekend.
“I think it was nice to have that break, to have some time to work on things,” Hume said. “To see what went well and what didn’t, and work on what hadn’t worked. It was also nice to have a few days off and recharge the batteries a bit.”
The team is next in action a week from today, hosting in-state rival Memphis 901 FC at First Tennessee Park.
- 26′ OTT Yellow card – 8 Jérémy Gagnon-Laparé (foul)
- 33′ NSH GOAL – 14 Daniel Ríos (right foot), assisted by 2 Justin Davis
- 45’+2 Half time
- 66′ OTT Substitution – On 11 Mour Samb, off 8 Kévin Oliveira
- 67′ NSH GOAL – 12 Tucker Hume (left footed), assisted by 10 Lebo Moloto
- 68′ NSH Substitution – On 3 Ropapa Mensah, off 12 Tucker Hume
- 69′ NSH Yellow card – 10 Lebo Moloto (foul)
- 76′ NSH Substitution – On 23 Taylor Washington, off 10 Lebo Moloto
- 77′ OTT Substitution – On 13 Aidan Daniels, off 9 Carl Haworth
- 80′ NSH GOAL – 14 Daniel Ríos (right foot), unassisted, rebound from 11 Kharlton Belmar shot
- 90′ NSH Substitution – On 19 Alan Winn, off 11 Kharlton Belmar
- 90’+3 OTT Yellow card – 6 Chris Mannella (foul)
- 90’+4 Full time