NASHVILLE – A battle between two of the Eastern Conference’s best teams looks like a coming-out party for Nashville SC through one half of play. At the break, the lead is 2-0 to the Boys in Gold.
Daniel Ríos played a give-and-go with midfielder Michael Reed in the 24th minute, with the MLS-bound striker slotting home right-footed to give the hosts the lead. That saw the game open up a bit, with Indy Eleven devoting more bodies to its counter-attacking offensive plan, and a few more gaps appearing as a result.
A sublime throughball from midfielder Lebo Moloto to winger Alan Winn down the right sideline in the 42nd minute placed Winn in plenty of space. He cut to his left foot and hammered home Nashville’s second. Nashville SC will surely go into the locker room content with the lead – but also hungry to build on it in the cavernous venue where they’ll be playing home games in next season’s Major League Soccer debut.
Entering the game, Indy Eleven was considered one of the hotter teams in USL – albeit with a stunning road loss to Hartford Athletic in the not-so-distant rearview mirror – while Nashville was still trying to find its footing among the elites of the East. If the Boys in Gold can hold on to their lead in the second half, the script may be flipped, with NSC now one of the darlings of the conference.
A win would only see Nashville climb to No. 5 in the table (or more accurately, remain there), but with some of the more difficult games already completed, they could continue to climb in the coming weeks.
- 17′ IND Yellow card – 23 Tyler Pasher (foul)
- 24′ NSH GOAL – 14 Daniel Ríos (right foot), assisted by 17 Michael Reed
- 42′ NSH GOAL – 19 Alan Winn (left foot), assisted by 10 Lebo Moloto (throughball)
- 45’+3 – Half time.