October 13, 2018 — First Tennessee Park (Nashville, Tenn.)
NSC – Tucker Hume (Alan Winn) 5′
CIN – Corben Bone (Emmanuel Ledesma) 52′
CIN – Nazmi Albadawi 63′
NSC – Brandon Allen (Ropapa Mensah) 80′
CIN – Corben Bone (Richie Ryan) 81′
NSC – Bolu Akinyode 90′
CIN – Yellow Card – Nazmi Albadawi (39′)
NSC – Yellow Card – Matt LaGrassa (40′)
|Matt Pickens||Spencer Richey|
|Ryan James||Justin Hoyte|
|Taylor Washington||Blake Smith|
|Bradley Bourgeois||Patrick Barnett|
|Liam Doyle||Forrest Lasso|
|Michael Reed (Kris Tyrpak 21′)||Tyler Gibson|
|Ropapa Mensah||Emmanuel Ledesma|
|Bolu Akinyode||Michael Lahoud (Richie Ryan 74′)|
|Alan Winn (Ramone Howell 73′)||Nazmi Albadawi (James McLaughlin 76′)|
|Tucker Hume (Brandon Allen 64′)||Corben Bone|
|Matt LaGrassa||Fanendo Adi (Danni Konig 74′)|
Nashville SC draws USL leaders in thrilling 3-3 draw in regular season finale
NASHVILLE — Nashville SC capped off an already exciting day with a dramatic 3-3 draw against FC Cincinnati in front of a record-breaking crowd at First Tennessee Park Saturday night, just hours after clinching a playoff berth.
Three different goal scorers found the back of the net to earn one final point from the regular season champions before heading into postseason play.
90 in a nutshell
With some playoff pressure lifted heading into the match, Nashville SC cruised through the opening minutes and turned an early opportunity into the team’s first goal of the night. FC Cincinnati’s kryptonite, a.k.a. Tucker Hume, netted his second-in-a-row against the league leaders, heading in a cross from Alan Winn in the fifth minute.
The remaining 40 minutes of the first half were scoreless for both sides, in part thanks to Matt Pickens’ huge save in the 34th minute that preserved Nashville’s important 1-0 lead heading into the second half.
FC Cincinnati found redemption in the 52nd minute when Corben Bone snuck behind Nashville’s line and slotted a shot by Pickens. The visitors then found their first go-ahead goal just 11 minutes later after midfield Nazmi Albadawi headed in a deflected corner.
The scoring ping-ponged yet again when Nashville equalized in the 80th minute after a textbook service from Ropapa Mensah dropped in the box at Brandon Allen’s feet. Allen buried the ball past Cincinnati’s keeper, giving him his third goal in two games.
Less than a minute later, Cincinnati responded and took the lead for a second time, once again thanks to Bone. Nashville SC refused to falter, and Bolu Akinyode ripped a shot from outside the 18 completely out of the goalkeeper’s reach. His late-game heroics were enough to lock in well-deserved point in Nashville’s final regular season game.
Nashville SC head coach Gary Smith
“I think if you had said to me before the game that we’re going to score three goals against Cincinnati, I would have said that we’d won the game, especially at home. A very, very exciting game, and I think we’ve shown all of the spirit and determination that we’re going to need if we can make a run in the postseason.”
Tucker Hume was difficult for FC Cincinnati to handle this season. Out of Nashville’s four total goals scored against Cincinnati in 2018, Hume netted two, including one tonight, each of which were celebrated in iconic Big Bird fashion.
The Final Draw
Tonight’s draw was Nashville’s fourth in a row at home. The streak started on September 22 against the Charleston Battery, which was actually Nashville’s first home draw at First Tennessee Park in team history.
Additionally, all three games between Nashville and Cincinnati this season ended in a draw.
Eastern Conference Update
Earlier today, Nashville SC clinched a playoff spot after Ottawa Fury FC fell 2-0 to the Charleston Battery, but tonight’s point helps the team’s case when it comes to playoff seeding. Currently with 49 points, Nashville SC has the potential to be a six, seven or eight seed depending on two remaining USL fixtures.
With influential games tomorrow, Nashville’s first playoff game location is still unknown. Regardless of tomorrow’s result, the team will be hitting the road next weekend for the first round of the 2018 USL playoffs.