MURFREESBORO – Nashville Soccer Club held on for a 3-2 win against a resilient South Georgia Tormenta FC 2 side in the Second Round of the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday night. The match took place at Hayes Stadium on the campus of MTSU in Murfreesboro.
Ropapa Mensah opened the scoring early, with Alan Winn and Cameron Lancaster adding two more to lead Nashville to the victory. It was Winn’s second goal of the season in his second start of 2019.
The two teams remained deadlocked through the opening minutes as they traded possession through the midfield. In the 8’ minute, Nashville struck first with a stellar run forward from Mensah, who took a feed from Alan Winn and calmly slid it past the keeper for a 1-0 lead.
Tormenta FC 2 held its own and kept Nashville from finding many stellar scoring chances in the minutes following the first goal. In the 24’ minute, South Georgia had a partial breakaway that required a stellar Connor Sparrow save to keep Nashville in the lead.
After a solid defensive stand, Nashville finally broke back into the offensive third and doubled its advantage in the 32’ minute with a great finish in the box by Winn on a long lob feed from Bolu Akinyode. Up 2-0, the Boys in Gold had to defend again in the ensuing run of play as Sparrow made a phenomenal save at the left post on a chance in the box.
South Georgia’s Adrian Billhardt took advantage of a defensive miscommunication in the final minutes of the first half and tucked one past Sparrow to cut Nashville’s deficit in half.
Nashville got right back to work early in the second half and padded the lead on a clinical finish from Lancaster off of a cross by Winn in the 52’ minute. Tormenta FC 2 weathered the storm and was able to cut back into the lead on a James Meehan header in the breakdown off a corner kick.
Tormenta FC 2 pressed hard in the final moments to equalize the match, but came up short as Sparrow and the backline held firm.
Here are three takeaways:
Efficiency is Key
Nashville SC was clinical in the way it found scoring chances in this match. The Boys in Gold had eight total shots, all of which were on target and three of them were finished with goals. Mensah and Lancaster took two shots each, all on target. Lancaster in particular had a second solid shot on net one-on-one with the keeper in the second half, but it was kept out by an outstretched arm.
WINNing in the ‘Boro
In his 74 minutes of action, Winn made a massive impact on this match. He factored in on each of the three Nashville goals, assisting on the first to Mensah, scoring the second goal and putting in the feed to Lancaster for the key third goal. This was Winn’s second start of the season, and he has scored at least one goal in each of his two starts after scoring in Nashville’s 5-1 victory over Swope Park Rangers on Saturday night.
New City, Same Result
Tuesday night’s match at Hayes Stadium on the campus of MTSU in Murfreesboro was a sellout with 1,008 fans in attendance to take in Nashville’s first home match outside of Davidson County. However, the result was no different, as Nashville remained unbeaten in home U.S. Open Cup matches dating back to last season.
With the win, Nashville will await the winner of Wednesday night’s match between Charleston Battery and Greenville Triumph SC in the Third Round of the U.S. Open Cup. That match will take place back at Hayes Stadium on May 29. In the meantime, Nashville SC will return to the First Tennessee to take on Charlotte Independence on Saturday, May 18 at 7 p.m.