March 31, 2018 — Goodman Stadium (Bethlehem, Pa.)
NSC — Michael Cox (penalty) 6′
BETH – Red Card – Brandon Aubrey (5′)
BETH – Yellow Card – James Chambers (59′)
BETH – Yellow Card – Adam Najem (78′)
NSC – Yellow Card – Justin Davis (79′)
NSC – Yellow Card – Matt LaGrassa (90′)
|Jake McGuire||Matt Pickens|
|Eric Ayuk||Ryan James (Kosuke Kimura 72′)|
|Prosper Chiluya||Taylor Washington|
|Matthew Mahoney||Justin Davis|
|Brandon Aubrey (5′)||Liam Doyle|
|Mike Catalano (Brenden Aaronson 63′)||Bradley Bourgeois|
|Marcus Epps (Chris Nanco 78′)||Michael Reed|
|James Chambers (Aldan Apodaca 69′)||Lebo Moloto (Matt LaGrassa 63′)|
|Adam Najem||Bolu Akinyode|
|Santi Moar||Michael Cox (Ropapa Mensah 71′)|
|Brandon Allen||Alan Winn|
History made as Nashville SC notches first-ever USL win
Bethlehem, Pa. — Nashville SC shrugged the monkey off its back in the opening minutes against Bethlehem Steel FC and held on against the 10-man side for a 1-0 victory. A penalty and subsequent red card assessed to Bethlehem Steel in the third minute put forward Michael Cox on the spot, and he didn’t miss, ultimately putting Nashville ahead for good.
90 in a nutshell
After its opening goal, Nashville had plenty of chances to widen its lead. Numerous odd-man rushes and shots inside the box were either well-defended or just off the mark as Bethlehem hung around despite being down a man.
Both keepers were spectacular, making numerous saves throughout the game. Steel FC keeper Jake McGuire recorded six saves, while Nashville SC keeper Matt Pickens earned his second consecutive shutout behind four saves.
6′ Michael Cox (PK) – Cox converted the PK he earned to etch his name into the record books, scoring the first goal in Nashville SC history. The penalty was set up by a long ball from defender Liam Doyle, which sprang Cox into the clear. He was pulled down from behind by Brandon Aubrey, who was given a straight red for the infraction.
NSC – 12 shots (7 on target). Nashville nearly doubled its shot output from the first two games and had plenty of threatening chances throughout the match. The chances created show the building continuity of the club.
Nashville SC head coach Gary Smith
(on four points from three matches)
“If you look now, the only mark on the good start to the season is being beaten by the champions in our very first game. We are two unbeaten, two clean sheets, four points in three games. We can be very, very pleased with that. The development in the group took a step forward in the right direction, especially with the slight change in formation. The next task is to make sure we can replicate something similar in our next match.”
Nashville SC forward Michael Cox
(On making history with Nashville SC’s first goal)
“I was able to get on the end of the ball from Liam. Got a touch on it and got hammered down in the box. It’s a good feeling to score that first goal, and I’m glad it held up.”
Nashville SC defender Justin Davis
(On back-to-back shutouts)
“I can’t put a finger on it. Matty (Matt Pickens) has made some great saves to keep it clean. It’s really been group defending, and we have stayed really solid in the back.”
With the three points, Nashville now has four points on the season, propelling them into fifth place in the Eastern Conference table at the time the game ended.
Nashville will head back home to play its first game at First Tennessee Park since February 10. The opponent will be Charlotte Independence, who have won both games they have played so far this season. Tickets are still available at http://www.nashvillesc.com.