HARRISBURG, Pa. — Nashville SC earned a point against Penn FC with a 0-0 draw on Tuesday, but the Boys in Gold should be disappointed with the result. On a cold and rainy evening in Central Pennsylvania, the game was as ugly as the weather.
Nashville was looking to bounce back with a win against winless Penn after suffering a 2-1 loss to the Indy Eleven in its last outing. Instead, Nashville moves to 2-2-2 on the season with eight points out of a possible 18.
Clumsy in the Final Third
Nashville’s attack lacked consistency and rhythm in the final third. The Boys in Gold completed just 60.5 percent of their passes in Penn FC’s half. Nashville mustered eight shots with only three on target.
“I am bitterly disappointed we didn’t take all three points,” said Nashville SC head cosch after the game. “The first half was competitive, but there were numerous mistakes from both teams. We had two or three chances that we didn’t convert. The second period we kept the ball and developed pressure better than we did in the first half. The amount of clear sights of goal we had as an away team…we were by far the better group. You don’t score, you can’t win. In front of goal, we fell short.”
Robin Shroot had two quality scoring chances inside Penn FC’s box in the first half but lacked the ability to finish. The best opportunity was created by Lebo Moloto who chipped the ball over defenders to Shroot, but he missed the volley as the ball was caught under his feet.
“I just thought that both teams suffered in terms of connecting regularly,” said Smith. “We gave the ball away too cheaply on too many occasions. There were some really good moments. Robin’s [Shroot] first chance was a clear sight of goal. He had a few really good looks in the first half. We just didn’t have the final touch.”
Matt LaGrassa subbed in for Shroot in the 69th minute and brought energy. LaGrassa created a few scoring opportunities and sent in a few dangerous crosses into Penn FC’s box, but Nashville couldn’t connect.
“I honestly think you look at the best teams, and they have players that hit the back of the net regularly,” said Smith. “They can change the face of any challenge, of any game. How do we change that for us? We keep working in training. I can just keep trying to work our team into good areas and get good chances. I can give them new ideas, but they need to finish our chances. I am frustrated we haven’t scored. We can be encouraged by the chances, but I am disappointed to come away with just one point.”
Changes to Nashville’s Starting Lineup
Nashville SC head coach Gary Smith gave Ropapa Mensah his second start in row against his former club. Shroot who had been out of the starting XI for the last three games was inserted as a starting forward, but moved to the right wing. Smith has not messed with his starting back line, but David Edgar made his first start replacing Liam Doyle at center back.
Nashville Starting XI
- Goalkeeper: Pickens
- Defenders: Davis, Edgar, Bourgeois, Kimura
- Midfielders: Washington, Reed, Akinyode, Shroot
- Forwards: Mensah, Moloto
- Possession: 53 percent
- Shots: 8
- Shots on Target: 3
Penn FC Stats
- Possession: 47 percent
- Shots: 11
- Shots on Target: 2