PITTSBURGH – Half the goals Nashville SC has conceded this season have come in set piece situations, and they went a long way toward tilting deal balls back in their favor in the Steel City. Ken Tribbett half-volleyed a rebound home in the 41st minute, and Bradley Bourgeois headed service from Tribbett just over the outstretched fist of Riverhounds goalkeeper Kyle Morton – and just over the goal line – in the 66th to double the lead.
That wouldn’t be enough to take home the victory in a venue that’s notoriously difficult for visitors to take home results. Nashville conceded twice late in the contest – including a stoppage-time equalizer from former Boy in Gold Ryan James (credited as an own goal after ricocheting off Kosuke Kimura) – to drop points in Highmark Stadium.
NSC came out in a refurbished formation, with three at the back after the four-man backline didn’t acquit itself well in a 3-1 loss at Charleston last weekend. It was a more aggressive version of the 3-5-2, though, with wingbacks Kosuke Kimura and Taylor Washington pushed high up the pitch, and a central midfield with two offensively-oriented players in Matt LaGrassa and Michael Reed. The offensive punch of Nashville’s formation didn’t come through in the run of play – striker Daniel Ríos was kept out of the back of the net for jus the third time in six games – set pieces managed to give Nashville a two-goal scoring output.
Defensively, the formation performed to near-perfection, not allowing Pittsburgh a shot until the 61st minute. Things broke down late in the game, however. Pittsburgh would finally pull one back in the 88th, with Christian Volesky’s strike leaving just enough time remaining for the Riverhounds to find that equalizer.
A big cross found James alone at the back post, and while he didn’t steer the ball on net, it banged off Nashville defender Kosuke Kimura to cause the teams to split points. It will be a bitterly disappointing result for Nashville after holding a two-goal lead with just moments to go in regular time.
Nashville next takes the pitch in the final contest of its three-game road swing, traveling to Kennesaw, Ga., to face Atlanta United 2 Saturday evening. After two straight games of disappointing results, they’ll be hungry to get back on the right track.
- 22′ NSH Yellow card – 22 Bradley Bourgeois (foul)
- 41′ NSH GOAL – 6 Ken Tribbett (right-footed half-volley), unassisted (rebound in corner kick situation)
- 45’+1 Half time
- 63′ PGH Substitution – On 15 Anthony Valerde, off 21 Mouhamed Dabo
- 65′ PGH Substitution – On 12 Christian Volesky, off 8 Steevan Dos Santos
- 73′ NSH Yellow Card – 14 Daniel Ríos (foul)
- 75′ NSH Substitutions
- On 2 Justin Davis, off 23 Taylor Washington
- On 9 Cameron Lancaster, off 11 Kharlton Belmar
- 81′ PGH Substitution – On 24 Robbie Mertz, off 2 Tobi Adewole
- 85′ NSH Substitution – On 3 Ropapa Mensah, off 14 Daniel Ríos
- 88′ PGH GOAL – 12 Christian Volesky (headed), assisted by 5 Jordan Dover
- 90’+2 PGH GOAL – NSH Own goal 27 Kosuke Kimura (deflected pass from 7 Ryan James)
- 90’+5 PGH Yellow card – 15 Anthony Valerde (foul)
- 90’+6 Full time.