August 25, 2018 — First Tennessee Park (Nashville, Tenn.)
BETH – Chris Nanco (James Chambers) 23′
NSC – Justin Davis (Lebo Moloto) 84′
BETH – Adam Najem 90’+3
NSC – Yellow Card – Ismaila Jome (27′)
NSC – Yellow Card/Red Card – Ismaila Jome (31′)
BETH – Yellow Card – Olivier Mbaizo (45′)
|Matt Pickens||Jake McGuire|
|Justin Davis||Olivier Mbaizo|
|Liam Doyle||Matt Real (Prosper Chiluya 6′)|
|Bradley Bourgeois||Benjamin Ofeimu|
|Ismaila Jome (31′)||Matthew Mahoney|
|Taylor Washington||James Chambers|
|Michael Reed (Matt LaGrassa 72′)||Chris Nanco|
|Bolu Akinyode||Adam Najem|
|Lebo Moloto||Brenden Aaronson (Drew Skundrich 74′)|
|Alan Winn (Kris Tyrpak 62′)||Marcus Epps|
|Ropapa Mensah (Tucker Hume 72′)||Faris Pemi Moumbagna (Santi Moar 64′)|
Bethlehem steals late win on stoppage time goal
NASHVILLE — In a scrappy, back-and-forth affair, Nashville SC lost a heartbreaker at home to Bethlehem Steel by a score of 2-1.
Justin Davis equalized the match late in the second half for a 10-man Nashville side, but Bethlehem scored on a pinballing ball in the box in stoppage time to earn all three points.
90 in a nutshell
Both teams packed plenty of speed into their lineups and flexed it early on. Bethlehem was forced to make an early sub due to an injury to Matt Real, but quickly found an offensive rhythm. In the eighth minute, Chris Nanco found space down the wing and was home free against Matt Pickens, but the Nashville goalkeeper showed why he’s the best in the league and punched the chance away. Nashville responded quickly and pushed towards goal, culminating in a Ropapa Mensah chance on goal swallowed up by keeper Jake McGuire.
Bethlehem pushed and finally drew first blood on a seeing-eye shot by Nanco that fooled Pickens to put Steel FC in front 1-0. After Nashville worked back to the offensive attack, the club was dealt a blow when Ish Jome was sent off for a second yellow card. Despite being down a man, Nahsville still generated some push in the offensive end, but couldn’t find an equalizer. The half ended with Bethlehem leading 1-0.
In the second half, Nashville continued to try and move forward even with a short-handed roster. Bethlehem had a couple of chances, including one shot that curled just over the crossbar, but Nashville kept the road team at bay. Kris Tyrpak entered the match midway through the second half and made an immediate impact, generating lot of movement in the attacking third. Tucker Hume and Matt LaGrassa entered the match to try and generate more offensive push. Nashville earned numerous corner kick chances in the final 15 minutes of the match as the club pushed for an equalizer, and the goal finally came in the 84th minute. Lebo Moloto slid the ball perfectly towards a streaking Davis, who powered it home to tie it up.
Both sides fought to the bitter end, and a chaotic play in front of Pickens’ net in the final minute led to an Adam Najem shot that just made it past the sprawling defenders and into the net to win the match for Bethlehem.
Nashville SC winger Kris Tyrpak
“I thought we played well. There were a couple of mental lapses in the first half, but we answered correctly in the second half and I thought we deserved, honestly, at least a point out of the game. It was disappointing. It was an honor to make my debut for this team. The atmosphere was crazy, the fans were amazing. But we let them down today. Hopefully we can remedy that Tuesday.”
Eight corner kicks. Nashville took eight corner kicks throughout the match, seven of which were in the second half. The repeated set pieces wore down the Bethlehem defense and allowed Nashville SC to score the late goal.
On a very active night in the Eastern Conference, ninth-place Nashville SC earned a gift from Penn FC as it took down eighth-place Ottawa Fury FC 2-0, meaning Nashville and Ottawa are still tied at 35 points with Nashville owning three matches in hand. Nashville is just two points behind seventh-place New York Red Bulls II and five points behind Indy Eleven, owning a match in hand on both teams.
Nashville SC won’t have much time to lament over this loss and the club welcomes Richmond Kickers to town on Tuesday, August 28. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. at First Tennessee Park.