In an inaugural season that has already seen plenty of history made, Nashville SC once again continued to etch its name in the record books.
The Club bested MLS side Colorado Rapids 2-0 Wednesday night in front of a rowdy group of fans at Vanderbilt Stadium to advance to the round of 16 in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Nashville faced three MLS sides during the preseason, going 1-1-1 against them. None of those matches, however, had any significant value behind them. This victory, however, has to give a side oozing with confidence even more belief that they can take on anyone.
Even though Nashville dodged a bullet in not facing U.S. goalkeeper legend Tim Howard, who was chosen to sit out this game, it still doesn’t take away from the fact that the club is showing no signs of slowing down during this unbeaten streak (now up to nine games) they’re riding.
Although the above lineup indicates a 4-1-4-1, Nashville actually elected to go with a 4-4-1-1 on the pitch. Lebo Moloto lined up on the right side of midfield, while Matt LaGrassa lagged behind Brandon Allen.
Chances on goal were few and far between in the opening period. Nashville’s best chance came on a corner kick. It appeared London Woodberry was about to connect on the service with a header, but he was shoved from behind. The ball was eventually cleared.
The Boys in Gold caught a break in the 39th minute. Justin Davis crossed in a ball from the left sideline. As the ball was coming in, Colorado defender Michael Azira attempted to clear the ball as he slid to the ground. However, the ball actually deflected off his leg and backwards into the vulnerable net for the 1-0 lead.
Ropapa Mensah came on as a substitute in the 77th minute and made an immediate impact. One minute later, he was able to get on the end of Liam Doyle’s half-volley cross from the left side of the field and tuck it into side netting to make it 2-0.
Nashville continued its strong defensive play throughout the second half, limiting Colorado to only a handful of looks on goal, and no shots on target. It was fairly pedestrian game for Matt Pickens against his former club, whose only real action was a punched clearance.
Nashville returns to USL action Saturday, when the club takes a trip to the Sunshine State to face the Tampa Bay Rowdies.