Nashville SC took down Memphis 901 FC for the second time this season, and for the second time, the winning margin was 2-0.
The Boys in Gold wouldn’t have to wait until nail-biting time to draw first blood this time around though, with centerback Jimmy Ockford putting the away side ahead late in the first half. The loanee from San Jose Earthquakes – who just joined Nashville his week – got a toe to the free-kick service of Lebo Moloto to poke the ball home in the 42nd minute.
Nashville would find the final margin shortly after the halftime break. A Memphis possession in Nashville’s box fizzled out – with multiple 901 FC players appealing for a handball on Ockford – and veteran keeper Matt Pickens quickly distributed for Nashville SC. Alan Winn fed striker Daniel Ríos, and the perfectly-timed run to split Memphis’s centerbacks let the Mexican in alone on goal, where his right foot was able to beat Memphis keeper Scott Levene.
The handball appeal wasn’t the first time it looked like Memphis might be able to take the lead. Former NSC forward Brandon Allen put one home in the 22nd minute, but Adam Najem was called offside in the buildup, and the hosts saw what had looked like the game’s first goal wiped off the board.
Instead, it was Nashville the rest of the way, with a 4-2-3-1 system reinvigorating Nashville’s attack up the flanks, providing plenty of space for Winn and Ropapa Mensah to get forward and feed Ríos.
While the game ultimately wasn’t the smoothest-played f the year for Nashville, there’s no arguing that the result was Golden.
NSC has the weekend off before hosting Indy Eleven at Nissan Stadium July 27, the first of two games played at the home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans. Tonight’s win moved Nashville into fifth place in the USL Championship’s Eastern Conference, while Indy has a chance to climb as high as second in the league by kickoff.
- 42′ NSH GOAL – 15 Jimmy Ockford (left foot), assisted by 10 Lebo Moloto (right-footed set piece)
- 45’+3 Half time
- 49′ NSH GOAL – 14 Daniel Ríos (right foot), assisted by 19 Alan Winn (throughball)
- 60′ NSH Yellow card – 15 Jimmy Ockford (foul)
- 62′ MEM Yellow card – 26 Josh Morton (foul)
- 63′ MEM Substitution – On 9 Luca Uccello, off 11 Elliott Collier
- 64′ MEM Yellow card – 17 Ewan Grandison (foul)
- 69′ NSH Substitution – On 11 Kharlton Belmar, off 3 Ropapa Mensah
- 76′ MEM Substitution – On 3 Abdi Mohamed, off 22 Wes Charpie
- 78′ MEM Substitution – On 28 Jochen Graf, off 10 Adam Najem
- 81′ NSH Substitution – On 17 Michael Reed, off 8 Vinnie Vermeer
- 83′ NSH Substitution – On 21 Darnell King, off 27 Kosuke Kimura
- 89′ MEM Yellow card – 27 Cam Lindley (foul)
- 89′ NSH Yellow card – 11 Kharlton Belmar (dissent)
- 90+8′ Full time