Nashville SC sent a message to the USL on Mother’s Day that nothing comes easy at First Tennessee Park.
The Boys in Gold improved their home record to 2-0-1 with an impressive 2- 0 win against Louisville City FC. It’s Louisville second-straight loss after going unbeaten in its first six games.
It was Lebo Moloto who got Nashville SC on the board first in the 39th minute. Ropapa Mensah collected a long ball and beat a defender on the edge of the left side of the 18. He passed a low ball on the ground that both Matt LaGrassa and Moloto had their eye on, but it was Moloto who got the first-time shot off that beat the Louisville keeper. It’s LaGrassa’s first goal this season.
The second half started very chippy for both sides. Bradley Bourgeois made a run into the box that resulted in a collision with Greg Ranjitsingh as he was leaping up to collect a cross. Ranjitsingh’s back smacked up against the post from the collision, resulting in Bourgeois to receive a yellow card.
Bourgeois was one of three Nashville SC players to receive a booking this match. Liam Doyle and Taylor Washington were also marked down in the referee’s handbook.
As the match progressed, Nashville decided to lay back and absorb pressure, continuing to attack at times when needed.
Lebo Moloto turned in a brace and put the game on ice when he headed in Michael Reed’s cross from the left side of the box in the 84th minute. It’s the first time this season that a Nashville SC player has scored twice in a single game.
Nashville SC coach Gary Smith:
“For the first today, I think you’ve seen, against one of the top sides and under very difficult conditions, some character in this group. We saw this as a bit of a benchmark. We’ve endured one or two difficulties. We have certainly not been at our best, but I do believe we’ll continue to improve. But, we might have just created a serious rivalry. They’re a top-side, and I’m absolutely delighted that we beat them.”
“I feel like I think we’ve come a long way. Had a couple of conversation with Michael Reed this week and one of the things that he said was ‘hey, we’re not a new team anymore.’ So, I think everyone’s realized that we’re not a new team. We’re a team that’s here to challenge for the number one spot, you know? I think we’ve come a long way from that first game to where we are today.”
-Matt Pickens finishes the game with his fifth shutout of the season, tying him with two other players in the USL for the most so far this season.
-The official attendance was announced as 8,610.
-Nashville’s defense was able to bottle up Louisville well in the first half, holding them to only one shot on target in the first half, and four the entire game.
-The win puts Nashville in eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings, with 12 points on the year.
Nashville SC now turns it’s attention to the local Nashville derby, where it’ll face Inter Nashville in the U.S. Open Cup Wednesday at Vanderbilt Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.