Nashville SC 0 – 0 FC Cincinnati: MLS Expansion Throwdown Ends in a Stalemate

FC Cincinnati played to a scoreless draw with MLS expansion rival Nashville, SC at Nissan Stadium on Saturday, July 7th.

Graphic: Connor Paquette / Image: Ryan Meyer

FC Cincinnati played to a goalless stalemate with MLS expansion rival Nashville SC in front of 18,228 at Nissan Stadium. In the first ever regular season meeting between these two sides, Nashville SC started and finished the first half as the better team. They maintained a 60% share of possession and created quite a few more chances during the first 45 minutes. NSC midfielder Lebo Moloto was unlucky not to put the home team ahead late in the first half. His 43rd minute strike from just outside of the box came back off the inside of the post. Evan Newton then denied a point-blank header from Moloto just one minute later. With some hard defending and a bit of luck, the Orange & Blue went in level at the halftime break.

Alan Koch and company regrouped in the second half and Nashville SC’s dominance slowly eroded. FC Cincinnati introduced three substitutes starting in the 72nd second minute to help influence the result. Jimmy McLaughlin, Russell Cicerone, and Emery Welshman all entered the fray and helped to create some late opportunities for the Orange & Blue. Cicerone and Welshman each had a one-on-one opportunities with just minutes remaining in the match, but NSC goalkeeper Matt Pickens smothered the chances. Forrest Lasso’s 87th minute header from a corner kick also went agonizingly wide left of the goalpost, and the match ended goalless. FCC has still only lost once on the road in 2018 and are 6-1-3 away from Nippert this season.

Final Score: Nashville SC 0 – 0 FC Cincinnati

Standings Update

FC Cincinnati remains on top of the Eastern Conference with the draw, now 4 points clear of  Pittsburgh, who has 2 games in hand. The Riverhounds are in action on Sunday at 1pm versus Ottawa Fury FC. The Orange & Blue maintain a seven game USL unbeaten run that extends back to June 2nd.

Highlight of the Match

The game opened up toward the end of the second half and FC Cincinnati had a couple of good chances to sneak out of Nashville with maximum points. Emery Welshman’s one-on-one in the 89th minute was snuffed out by Nashville goalkeeper Matt Pickens.

Stat of the Match

The two teams created a combined 32 shots on goal during the contest but only 5 total were on target.

Shots from FC Cincinnati (left) and Nashville SC (right). Both teams were largely off-target during Saturday’s 0-0 meeting at Nissan Stadium.

Quote of the Match

Alan Koch summarized his feelings about Saturday’s result in Music City.

“Positive result, playing against a good Nashville team at their place in a very tough environment. We’re glad to take the point. We weren’t good in the first 45 minutes. They were clearly the better team. We had to adjust a few things tactically at halftime and I think it became an even game in the second half. Then we started to get going, feeling a little more confident about things and created quite a few chances in the last five to 10 minutes.”

Who Started?

Alan Koch started the same lineup that featured in the 2-0 victory over Ottawa Fury FC last Saturday.

Ledesma – König
Smith –  Lasso – Keinan – Hoyte

What’s Next?

The Orange & Blue retreat to Cincinnati where they can settle in and get accustomed to some home cookin’. Alan Koch’s side will play six straight USL league matches in the confines of Nippert Stadium before heading back out on the road. Mixed into that schedule is a tasty international friendly against RCD Espanyol of Spain’s La Liga.

Stay tuned to Orange & Blue Press for more coverage of FC Cincinnati’s 2018 season.

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