NASHVILLE – For all too long Wednesday evening, it appeared that Nashville SC would be the stronger side against DC United, but be unable to find the winner. Despite having a man advantage for the entire second half, the Boys in Gold could create chances, but not that moment of magic.
Striker Daniel Ríos changed that in the 70th minute. The Mexican rose to get his head to a cross, and the resulting ball made its way past DC keeper Bill Hamid, giving the hosts a 1-0 victory.
Nashville had a number of enticing opportunities in the first half, including a pair of free kicks just outside the DC box earned by midfielder Derrick Jones, playing in the absence of designated player Hany Mukhtar. However, Mukhtar’s absence (combined with that of left back Dan Lovitz, suspended for the contest after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season) meant that the Boys in Gold were without their designated free-kick takers, as well. Aníbal Godoy sent one of the opportunities over the bar, while Ríos’s curling strike on the second was just wide of the post.
Nashville received a boost at the end of the first half, when DC midfielder Russell Canouse – who had been yellow-carded earlier in the half – earned his second yellow for dissent. He was sent off, and Nashville would spend the entire second frame on the man advantage.
NSC dominated shots 16-4 (which started even before Canouse’s dismissal), and possession by a wide margin (61.2-38.8%). It has long been that final piece – that which Ríos provided – that Nashville has been missing. While a 1-0 victory against a 10-man side isn’t going to end up the most inspiring scoreline, the team did what it needed to earn a win.
They’ll be on to the next one with Houston Dynamo visiting Nissan Stadium Saturday afternoon.
- 21′ NSH Substitution – On 19 Alan Winn, off 9 Dominique Badji (injury)
- 37′ DC Yellow card – 4 Russell Canouse (foul)
- 45’+3 DC RED CARD – 4 Russell Canouse (second yellow, dissent)
- 45’+5 Half time
- HT DC Substitution – On 27 Moses Nyeman, off 20 Gelmin Rivas
- 62′ NSH Substitution – On 8 Randall LEal, off 6 Dax McCarty
- 70′ NSH GOAL – 14 Daniel Ríos (headed, from set piece), assisted by 4 Dave Romney (head-on), secondary assist by Alistar Johnston (right-footed corner kick)
- 71′ DC Substitutions:
- On 2 Federico Higuaín, off 9 Ola Kamara
- On 3 Chris Odoi-Atsem, off 91 Oniel FIsher Jr.
- 78′ DC Substitution – On Griffin Yow, off Julian Gressel
- 79′ NSH Yellow card – 23 Taylor Washington (foul)
- 83′ DC Substitution – On 50 Erik Sorga, off 11 Yamil Asad
- 83′ NSH Substitution – On 3 Jalil Anibaba, off 29 Alex Muyl
- 90’+3 Full time