PHILADELPHIA – Three second half goals proved historic as Nashville Soccer Club earned its first-ever come from behind victory in club history 4-1 over Bethlehem Steel FC on Sunday evening in Philadelphia. After Bethlehem opened the scoring in the first half, Nashville scored the final four goals of the match, including forward Ropapa Mensah’s match-winner in the 63’ minute.
It was Bethlehem’s James Chambers who opened up the scoring in 24’ minute off a free kick just outside the box. Chambers bent the ball around Nashville’s wall and slotted it in the bottom right of the net.
Nashville answered just two minutes later from a set piece of their own as midfielder Lebo Moloto swung in a corner kick and Tribbett buried a header past the Steel keeper. It was Tribbett’s second goal of the season and Moloto’s third helper.
Nashville broke it open in the second half as Moloto again set up a goal. The South African midfielder sprung Mensah on a breakaway and the forward made no mistake of his shot as he blasted it into the net. Less than 10 minutes later, Nashville SC struck again as defender Kosuke Kimura cleaned up a rebound for his first goal in a Nashville uniform.
The final tally came from the foot of forward Cameron Lancaster, making his return to the field as a substitute after a month-long layoff due to injury. It was his third goal for Nashville SC in league play and fourth overall.
Here are three takeaways from the win.
1) Road Form Continues to Impress
Nashville SC has had an impressive road record so far in 2019 with a 4-1-3 record away from home following the victory on Sunday. The four wins on the road this season matches the club’s total in 17 road matches in 2018. Nashville’s 15 road points are among the most in the USL Championship this season.
2) Mensah Makes Impact as a Starter
Head coach Gary Smith wanted to reward forward Ropapa Mensah with a start after impressive performances against Indy Eleven and Charleston Battery in the team’s last two matches. The move paid off as Mensah recorded four shots, putting three on target, and scored the game-winner. It was Mensah’s third goal on the season to go along with two assists. His involvement in five goals is the second-most for the club behind forward Daniel Ríos’ eight.
3) Kimura Finds the Net
Defender Kosuke Kimura is a defensive force from the right back spot for Nashville SC. His veteran presence and endless stamina have been a massive asset to Gary Smith for years dating back to the pair’s days with the Colorado Rapids of MLS. That doesn’t mean that Kimura can’t provide a spark offensively. His goal to seal the win was his first for Nashville SC and first professionally since June of 2017.
Bonus: Lancaster Returns and Scores
Forward Cameron Lancaster has missed the last four Nashville SC matches due to an unlucky injury suffered in training. He made a triumphant return to the pitch and had an instant impact with a goal in his 24 minutes as a substitute. He now has four goals this season, the second-most on Nashville SC.
With five consecutive league results in hand, Nashville SC will hit the road once again next weekend against Hartford Athletic. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.