NASHVILLE – Plenty of chances, but none that found the back of the net for Nashville SC after a rainy first half – preceded by a 78-minute rain delay. They enter the locker room in their first intra-state rivalry game against Memphis 901 FC in a scoreless draw.
Daniel Ríos had a chip attempt that would have rivaled his opening goal against Ottawa last week, but it missed just wide in the 15th minute. Ríos would keep the pressure on, including a strike that went just wide (and after which he briefly left the game to change his right shoe), and a blast from 25 yards that forced a save from keeper Jeff Caldwell.
He wasn’t the only Boy in Gold to keep the heat up, either. Nashville finished the first half with a 12-1 advantage in shots, and the slight edge in possession (50.3% to 49.7% for Memphis) belied the dominant showing they put on in the first half. Winger Kharlton Belmar had multiple penetrating runs, only for his last pass to fail to find its target.
None of that matters, though, if you can’t find the back of the net, and they were unable to do just that. Caldwell’s three saves (including on a Tucker Hume header that looked bound for a goal) and the… speculative nature of some of Nashville’s shots – though Ríos’s bomb was the only attempt from outside the penalty area – meant that a 901 FC side with only 28 touches in the attacking third (which is to say, almost no offensive gusto) manages to hold NSC to a draw through one half of play.
The bright moments half to turn from spark to smoke in the second 45 if Nashville is to leave with all three points.
- 45’+3 – Half time