On Wednesday, Nashville SC defeated F.C. Dallas 1-0 to earn their first MLS win in club history. The game came after both Nashville and Dallas were removed from the MLS is Back tournament because of positive Covid-19 tests. This match was the first of 3 between the teams with one taking place on Sunday and the third coming in the Fall.
In their win, Nashville struggled to keep possession and to generate high quality scoring chances. Nashville made a change at Striker, Center Mid, and Right Back compared to their lineup of the first 2 matches. Brayan Beckeles, Derrick Jones, and Daniel Ríos made their first MLS starts for Nashville SC. Nashville SC’s line up:
Dallas dominated in possession with 64% and had more shots than Nashville. Dallas had 15 compared to Nashville’s 7.
The first half started slowly as both teams were sloppy with the ball. The fact that neither team had played a competitive game in 5 months was evident though the pace picked up throughout the game.
The match improved in the second half as each team attacked more. Nashville struggled to get the ball out wide to Hany Mukhtar and Randall Leal though Leal generated a few good chances. The defense, lead by Walker Zimmerman, had a strong game, despite 3 defenders and 2 other players getting yellow cards. Zimmerman defended extremely well and made a great block in the closing minutes.
After making all 5 substitutions (Abu Danladi, Allistar Johnston, Dominique Badji, Matt LaGrassa, and David Accam came on), Nashville scored their first away goal in history in the 86th minute. After coming on just 4 minutes earlier, David Accam received a pass from captain, Dax McCarty, and dribbled to the 18 yard box before putting the shot away in the bottom right corner.
After the goal, Nashville held on to their first lead in club history well. On the way to their 1-0 win, Goalkeeper, Joe Willis, made some fantastic, game-saving saves. Willis was tested throughout the match though the defense did a great job of staying true to their identity and forcing low quality shots.
Overall, the match yielded a fantastic and historic result but was unconvincing. Anibal Godoy, Walker Zimmerman, and Dax McCarty all had great games but there was constant disconnect between the midfield and attack. Striker, Daniel Ríos, was a non-factor for much of the game which was one of Nashville SC’s problems through their first 2 matches. Obviously, the substitutions made a big impact on the match. Abu Danladi came on and played well and of course, David Accam came on and scored the game winning goal.
Nashville will face Dallas again on Sunday, then they will face Atlanta, Orlando, and Miami twice over the next month. With a win and 3 points under their belt, Nashville can settle in and play better as the resumed season goes on.