For 46 minutes, Nashville SC and FC Dallas played a US Open Cup match that bordered on aggressively boring. In the second half, it was moments of brilliance from wingers Fafa Picaut and Alex Muyl that provided the entertainment, and Nashville SC took down the Burn 2-0 in the US Open Cup’s Round of 32.
Picault’s opener was a lovely sequence of play for the former FC Dallas player in his first year as a member of Nashville’s squad. He collected a pass along the left sideline, and pressed toward goal. Inside the Dallas penalty area, he opted not to slide a pass across to Ethan Zubak or Luke Haakenson in the box, but rather to cut a defender and fire far post. The veteran was rewarded with his second goal contribution of the tournament after assisting Zubak on Nashville’s lone tally in the win over San Antonio FC.
The game opened up from there, with a bit more adventurous play from Dallas (and a pair of back-to-back fouls that should have seen at least one and perhaps both Dallas players sent off). Nashville had a rebounded header find the back of the net before Zubak was (correctly) adjudged to be in an offside position. A weak indirect kick didn’t get the ball far, with the Boys in Gold retaining possession in the attacking third, and Muyl doing the rest to finish the game.
Interchanging play along the right side of the penalty area with Brian Anunga, Muyl looked to be in position to send a cross to the six-yard box. Instead, he cut onto his weaker left foot and blasted a shot over the shoulder of keeper Jimmy Maurer to provide the game’s final score.
With the win, Nashville advances to the competition’s Round of 16, with the draw to take place tomorrow afternoon.
- 45’+1 Half time
- HT NSH Substitutions –
- On 5 Jack Maher, off 3 Lukas MacNaughton
- On 19 Alex Muyl, off 54 Sean Davis
- On 26 Luke Haakenson, off 8 Randall Leal
- 62′ DAL Substitution – On Velasco, off Ntsabeleng
- 63′ NSH GOAL – 7 Fafa Picault (right footed, after sideline dribble and cutback, to far corner), assested by 23 Taylor Washington (sideline pass)
- 68′ DAL Substitutions –
- On Jader Obrian, off Ema Twumasi
- On Kamungo, Off Junqua
- 68′ NSH Substitution – On 14 Jacob Shaffelburg
- 72′ DAL Yellow card – Geovane Jesús (foul)
- 76′ NSH GOAL – 19 Alex Muyl (left-footed after cutback, to upper corner), assisted by 27 Brian Anunga (sideline pass)
- 78′ DAL Substitutions –
- On Korça, off Sebastian Lletget
- On Quignon, off Geovane Jesús
- 84′ NSH Substitution – On 43 Joey DeZart, off 27 Tah Brian Anunga
- 90’+4 Full time