Updated: Jul 29, 2019
NASHVILLE, TN - Playing at Nissan Stadium for the first time this season, Nashville SC took all three points against third-placed Indy Eleven in a clash between two USL Cup contenders.
Head coach Gary Smith continued with the 4-2-3-1 formation he used last week in Memphis, giving newly-signed Forrest Lasso his club debut at the heart of defense.
Nashville controlled the first half of the match, possessing the ball for long stretches of the match and creating pockets of space in the final third. Lebo Moloto especially was able to get on the ball in good areas and link play between the midfield and forward lines.
In the 24th minute, Nashville got their breakthrough. Moloto played a pass into space for Rios on the left, and the forward drove the ball at Indy's defense before playing a quick one-two with Reed. The striker latched onto the return pass and buried it at the far post for his 13th strike of the season.
Moloto was again at the center of a goal in the 42nd minute, splitting the defense with a ball to Alan Winn. The winger ran with the ball before cutting back onto his left foot and driving a low shot into the bottom corner.
The second half was quieter for Nashville. As Indy pressed to get on the scoresheet, Nashville didn't have as much space as they did earlier in the match. However, the Boys In Gold still had chances, primarily with Winn and Kharlton Belmar finding space on the counter. As the match wore on, Smith sent on Ken Tribbett for his first appearance in 49 days. The usual centerback sat in front of the defense in a holding midfield role and gave Nashville more defensive solidity as they looked to see out the result.
The move paid off, with Nashville holding onto a clean sheet and taking three points against Indy for the first time in club history.
With the win, Nashville are still in fifth place, but now sit just two points behind Indy and North Carolina. They'll travel to Kansas City to take on 16th placed Swope Park Rangers next Saturday.