NASHVILLE – Survive and advance szn is upon us, and Nashville SC has taken care of business in its first 2019 playoff match.
The Boys in Gold got goals from Lebo Moloto, Daniel Ríos, and Derrick Jones to dominate Charleston Battery, whose lone offensive contribution came in the form of a penalty kick from Zeiko Lewis. With the 3-1 victory, the Boys in Gold will host Indy Eleven next Saturday to keep its quest for a title alive in the final USL Championship season before moving to Major League Soccer next year.
Moloto got the scoring started, knocking home with plenty of time and room after a through-ball from Matt LaGrassa found him unmarked in the penalty area in the 10th minute.
Charleston would respond in the 35th. NSC centerback Forrest Lasso took down Nico Rittmeyer in the box after missing the ball with his tackle attempt, and forward Zeiko Lewis converted for the visitors. His penalty kick sent Matt Pickens the wrong way – and was the only shot on goal for Charleston all match.
However, it wouldn’t take long for Nashville to respond. Striker Daniel Ríos’s header bounced past Charleston keeper Joe Kuzminsky to restore the lead, and send the game to halftime with a 2-1 advantage in favor of the hosts.
A back-and-forth second half didn’t see Charleston threaten, and substitute Derrick Jones – a holding midfielder by trade, but co-opted as a creative attacker in his recent appearances for Nashville – wrapped the result in front of the supporters’ section with an incredible run. If not for the fact that he put the ball into the side-netting, he may have earned a penalty kick for his team, with Angelo Kelly-Rosales the victim of several different dribbling moves by the 22-year old.
With the victory, Nashville SC advances in the USL playoffs for the first – and last – time in club history, and will host Indy next Saturday at 7:00 p.m. in the quest to leave the league with a title under their belts.
- 10′ NSH GOAL – 10 Lebo Moloto (right foot), assisted by 20 Matt LaGrassa (through-ball)
- 35′ CHS GOAL – 11 Zeiko Lewis (right-footed penalty kick, earned by 13 Nico Rittmeyer)
- 38′ NSH Yellow card – 21 Darnell King (foul)
- 43′ NSH GOAL – 14 Daniel Ríos (headed), assisted by 2 Justin Davis (left-footed cross)
- 45’+1 Half time.
- 67′ CHS Substitution – On 29 Nicque Daley, off 13 Nico Rittmeyer
- 73′ NSH Substitution – On 3 Ropapa Mensah, off 19 Alan Winn
- 76′ CHS Substitution – On 19 Dante Marini, off 3 Kyle Nelson
- 77′ NSH Yellow card – 15 Jimmy Ockford (foul)
- 81′ NSH Substitution – On 4 Derrick Jones, off 10 Lebo Moloto
- 82′ CHS Substitution – On 9 Ian Svantesson, off 27 Artur Bosua
- 85′ NSH Yellow card – 2 Justin Davis (not retreating)
- 88′ NSH GOAL – 4 Derrick Jones (right foot, stuntin’ on fools), assisted by 23 Taylor Washington
- 90’+1 NSH Substitution – On 27 Kosuke Kimura, off 14 Daniel Ríos
- 90’+5 Full time