Moloto brace buries Bourbon Boys in front of capacity crowd

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A pair of Lebo Moloto goals propelled Nashville to a 2-0 win over defending USL champion Louisville City in front of a full house Sunday at First Tennessee Park.

After Louisville controlled play early, the South African turned the tables in the 39th minute when he stepped in front of Matt LaGrassa and seized upon a Ropapa Mensah cross, driving it to the left of LCFC keeper Greg Ranjitsingh and into the back of the net.

Nashville wasn’t done. As the Bourbon Boys pressed forward for an equalizer, Nashville stole possession and broke toward the supporters’ section. Michael Reed deftly bent a cross onto the head of Moloto, who directed the ball past Ranjitsingh for an 84th-minute insurance goal.

Louisville may have led in possession (57 to 43 percent) and shots (13 to 11), but Nashville put seven on target to Louisville’s four and generally had the more dangerous chances. That didn’t keep Matt Pickens from having to save the day in the 74th, lunging in front of a Cameron Lancaster free kick toward his top right corner.

The win propels Nashville to 3-2-3 and a tie for seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Louisville falls to 5-2-1, its second straight defeat after opening the season with a six-match unbeaten streak.

Next up for the Tri-Stars: A U.S. Open Cup bout with Inter Nashville FC, a fourth-division side, Wednesday at Vanderbilt. After a weekend off, Nashville travels to Charleston to challenge a surging Battery team.

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