BIRMINGHAM – A second half penalty kick from Daniel Ríos gave Nashville Soccer Club just enough to escape from Birmingham with three points in a 1-0 victory over Legion FC on national television on Wednesday night at BBVA Compass Field.
Winger Alan Winn was dragged down in the box in the 62’ minute leading to the penalty kick. Ríos made it count from the spot on the penalty with his eighth goal of the season and second from the penalty spot. The MLS-signed forward is perfect from the spot, converting both of Nashville’s penalties in 2019.
Nashville SC got off to a quick start in the match, nearly going up a goal in the opening minutes. Winger Kharlton Belmar put slid a cross in front of goal that just eluded the foot of the onrushing Alan Winn. Ten minutes later, it was Belmar who had the chance as a pass from forward Daniel Ríos led Belmar to get one on one with the Legion FC keeper. The shot from Belmar was kicked away by the keeper.
Both teams had marginal chances throughout the rest of the first half, but each defense held strong, with both teams going into the locker rooms scoreless.
The second half featured more chances from Nashville, with Winn finding plenty of space on the left wing. Finally, his hard work paid off as he earned the foul that led to the only goal of the match.
After Ríos gave Nashville the lead, the Boys in Gold locked it down defensively, limiting Birmingham to half-chances and long shots. Matt Pickens earned his third clean sheet of the season, and it was the fifth overall for the Nashville defense this season.
Here are three takeaways from the victory:
Another Road Victory
Nashville SC earned just four road wins in the entirety of the 2018 USL Championship season. Just six road matches into 2019, Nashville has already scored three road victories in addition to two draws. The 11 points on the road are one more than the club’s 10 at home in six matches each.
Jones Makes Nashville USL Debut
The newest MLS signing for Nashville SC came on as a substitute in the 64’ minute and helped lock down the three points for the Boys in Gold. Jones was impressive in his 26 minutes of action, completing nearly 83 percent of his passes, the second highest completion percentage on the team.
First National TV Win
Nashville SC has been unlucky when featured on the USL Game of the Week, going 0-3 before Wednesday night’s victory. The win over Birmingham on ESPNews broke the streak and gave Nashville SC fans across the country three points to cheer for.
It won’t be long until Nashville SC returns to the pitch as they stay on the road for a Saturday match against Indy Eleven at Lucas Oil Stadium at 6 p.m. CT. Take a look at the 2019 season schedule to see when you can next catch the Boys in Gold.