Nashville SC’s scoring drought ended in the sixth minute against Bethlehem Steel FC after Michael Cox calmly slotted a penalty kick past the goalkeeper. Cox will go down in Nashville SC’s history with the first goal scored for the Boys in Gold in the USL.
— Nashville SC (@NashvilleSC) March 31, 2018
Nashville was granted the penalty kick after Bethlehem defender Brandon Aubrey yanked Cox down on a clear scoring chance on the edge of the box in the fifth minute. The head referee took a few minutes to confer with his linesman before sending Aubrey off with a Red Card. Cox’s breakaway was created by a great ball from over the top.
Alan Winn and Taylor Washington definitely added pace to Nashville’s starting lineup, but the team is still looking for its first goal from open play. The Boys in Gold created quality chances in the first half, but are still struggling to finish. Nashville could be up 2-0 with a few better touches in Bethlehem’s box.
Credit Bethlehem for playing strong after going a man down. The Steel’s best scoring chance in the first half came from a curling effort just outside the box by Moar in the 25th minute, but his shot was just a bit too high.
Changes to Nashville’s Starting XI
Nashville head coach Gary Smith made five changes to the starting lineup against Bethlehem. Alan Winn made his first appearance starting at left forward along Michael Cox, which was the third starting forward combination this season. Taylor Washington cracked the starting lineup at left wingback after coming in as a sub for Kosuke Kimura in the previous two games. With Washington starting on the left, Ryan James moved to right wingback and Bolu Akinyode got his first start in the midfield after replacing Matt LaGrassa in the 77th minute against Pittsburgh.
Nashville Starting Formation: 3-5-2
Defenders: Davis, Doyle, Bourgeois
Midfielders: Washington, Reed, Akinyode, Moloto, James
Forwards: Winn, Cox
Bethlehem Starting Formation: 4-2-3-1
Defenders: Chiluya, Aubrey, Mahoney, Ayuk
Defensive Midfielders: Chambers, Catalano
Midfielders: Moar, Najem, Epps