For much of the evening in GEODIS Park, Nashville SC looked like the better team against rival FC Cincinnati. The problem? The Boys in Gold weren’t crisp in the final third, and couldn’t create dangerous-enough chances to threaten the Cincinnati net. Meanwhile, Joe Willis put in a strong effort between the pipes for NSC, but fell one save short as Brandon Vazquez knocked home a rebound shortly after halftime and gave the visitors a 1-0 victory.
Nashville controlled possession throughout much of the match, but only three of 17 shots were on-frame, totaling 0.1535 expected goals. That’s not good enough.
Meanwhile, Cincinnati was able to generate a number of odd-man breakaway opportunities in the first half, and another one shortly after the break made the difference. Nashville had looked to recover in time to cut out the danger of the Cincinnati counter-attack, but Alvaro Barreal cut onto his right foot, and forced a save out of Willis from the top of the box. While the Nashville keeper made the stop, he could do no more than spill the ball to Vazquez, who pounced on the rebound and beat a valiant second effort from Willis.
It was a chippy match overall – 39 combined fouls and six yellow cards shown – and once Cincinnati took the lead, Nashville’s composure seemed to wane. While the Boys in Gold were able to possess, they had few answers for breaking down Cincinnati’s low block. Reigning league MVP Hany Mukhtar couldn’t get on the ball facing goal often enough (and Cincinnati was given a couple warnings for persistently infringing against the German), and NSC resorted to whipping in crosses.
A first home loss of the season is Nashville’s second straight loss, and drops the team to sixth in the Eastern Conference, while helping Cincinnati climb to second. The Boys in Gold will try to halt their losing streak on the road in Orlando next weekend.
- 21′ CIN Yellow card – 5 Obinna Nwobodo (foul)
- 45′ CIN Yellow card – 26 Malik Pinto (foul)
- 45’+1 Half time
- 48′ CIN GOAL – 19 Brandon Vazquez (right footed, rebound of 31 Alvaro Barreal shot, first touch)
- 56′ NSH Yellow card – 18 Shaq Moore (foul)
- 61′ NSH Substitution – On 20 Aníbal Godoy, off 6 Dax McCarty
- 64′ CIN Substitution – On 13 Santiago Arias, off 26 Malik Pinto
- 70′ NSH Substitution – On 12 Teal Bunbury, off 7 Fafa Picault
- 72′ NSH Yellow card – 12 Teal Bunbury (dissent)
- 72′ CIN Yellow card – 21 Matt Miazga (dissent)
- 76′ CIN Substitution – On 17 Sergio Santos, off 9 Brenner
- 76′ NSH Substitutions –
- On 26 Luke Haakenson, off 11 Jacob Shaffelburg
- On 24 Jan Greguš, off 54 Sean Davis
- 80′ CIN Yellow card – 31 Alvaro Barreal (foul)
- 90′ CIN Substitutions –
- On 2 Alvas Powell, off 31 Alvaro Barreal
- On 14 Dominique Badji, off 10 Lucho Acosta
- 90’+8 Full time