ROPAPA MENSAH GETS FIRST USL START, SECOND GOAL IN DEFEAT
INDIANAPOLIS – Two first half goals by Indy Eleven ended Nashville SC’s shutout streak and run of points as Indy beat Nashville at Lucas Oil Stadium on Saturday, 2-1.
90 in a nutshell
Indy got on the board early with a goal by forward Soony Saad on a breakaway in the 15’ minute. Saad doubled his total and the lead with a 35-yard strike in the 34’ minute that curled into the side of the net.
Nashville SC forward Ropapa Mensah pulled Nashville back within one in the 45’ minute with a touch off a Lebo Moloto cross. Mensah almost had a second just before the halftime whistle but his shot went high and Indy led 2-1 at the half. While Nashville brought pressure in the second half, it ultimately wasn’t enough to pull even.
15’ IND – Soony Saad assisted by Ayoze
34’ IND – Soony Saad assisted by Jack McInerney
45’ NSH – Ropapa Mensah assisted by Lebo Moloto
Saad – 2 goals. Soony Saad’s second goal, which ultimately proved to be the game-winner, was an absolute strike. Off a free kick taken by Jack McInerney, Saad ran up on a McInerney touch and hammered the winner past Nashville SC keeper Matt Pickens.
Nashville SC head coach Gary Smith
“For Ropapa, it was a good 90 minutes, and I think it was his only 90 minutes throughout the preseason. He looked strong, he looked a problem for them. Forwards are those type of guys when it goes into their feet or the final third, you know you have a decent forward on your hand when you think ‘Something might happen.’ I thought there were plenty of occasions [with him] where I thought ‘Something is going to happen.’”
Being the first game of the day, Nashville will have to wait for other games to finish on Saturday to see if it stays in the top of the Eastern Conference after the loss. For now, the team sits in 6th with 7 points through five matches.
Nashville will be off next weekend, but will have its first midweek contest on Tuesday, April 24 at Penn FC.