Recap: Nashville SC 2 – 0 Real Salt Lake

Nashville SC got their first win at GEODIS Park on Saturday evening, knocking off Real Salt Lake 1-0 in an incredibly one-sided showing.

The XI

Nashville head coach Gary Smith trotted out an unchanged squad from the side that drew Philadelphia Union last weekend.

With Aníbal Godoy unavailable to a calf injury, Dax McCarty and Sean Davis continued their partnership in midfield, keeping the backline of Dave Romney, Walker Zimmerman and Jack Maher was called on once again.

On the pitch

Just like against Philadelphia, Nashville were by far the brighter side from the start. The Coyotes dominated possession in the opening exchanges, circulating the ball around Salt Lake’s box in search of an opening. The visitors did well to stay compact and keep the game in front of them, limiting Nashville to half chances while creating none of their own.

It took Salt Lake until the second half to find their first shot, and only tested Joe Willis twice throughout the match. With Randall Leal injured just before the break, Aké Loba was given the entire second half to impact the match. Despite looking raw, he stretched the field and gave Nashville a different look in attack, opening up space behind Salt Lake’s compact backline.

Just as things started to grow tense, Dave Romney found the breakthrough, pouncing on a loose ball in the box after Walker Zimmerman’s shot was cleared off the line. CJ Sapong iced the match in second half stoppage time, finishing a cross from substitute Luke Haakenson to secure Nashville’s first win at GEODIS Park.

The big picture

Nashville SC are above the playoff line, moving into sixth place and getting revenge on Salt Lake for their prior defeat all at the same time. The first win at GEODIS Park makes 21 straight home matches without a defeat, with their last loss coming back in November 2020. They’ve lost just twice at home in MLS, an astounding mark.

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