Nashville SC’s eight-league match unbeaten run at home ended on Wednesday night after Philadelphia Union defeated Nashville SC with two penalty kicks. The game didn’t lack any passion after Nashville SC saw both of their fullbacks sent off.
Nashville SC & Philadelphia Union both put an extreme emphasis on just how aggressive they wanted to be in the first half. Nashville had a couple of big chances courtesy of Lukas McNaughton and Teal Bunbury but were ultimately unable to break the deadlock. It was the away side who were finally able to draw first blood, and that was from a penalty kick. Daniel Lovitz was called for a foul inside the box after he two-hand pushed one of Philly’s players inside the box.
There was already some real pressure heading into Wednesday night’s match for a few reasons. First, Nashville SC was coming off of a loss against Chicago on the road last weekend as they are desperately trying to catch Cincinnati in the standings, and the second is regarding the rumors of Hany Mukhtar being wanted by clubs in Spain and Saudi Arabia. However, with Nashville a goal down heading into the second half, there was even more pressure to perform in front of the home fans.
The effort was certainly there for Nashville SC in that second half based on the number of chances. This situation was very similar to the last match against Chicago where Nashville had nearly 20 shots total, but couldn't find the back of the net. There was even some drama in the second half after what looked like a stonewall penalty shout for Nashville SC was overturned on the field. Two weeks in a row, Nashville SC Manager, Gary Smith, will feel his team has been done wrong by VAR. To make matters worse Nashville would go on to give yet another penalty away, and it was once again against Daniel Lovitz who was shown a second yellow giving Philadelphia a 2-0 lead late in the match. To really top off the disaster of a night, Nashville SC’s Shaq Moore would get into an altercation late into added time and see a straight red card. This now puts Nashville without both fullbacks against the best team in MLS, FC Cincinnati.
Wednesday night’s loss certainly won’t quiet the concerns about where this team is headed going into Cincinnati on Saturday night. As the losses start to mount you just wonder how aggressive Nashville will be in the upcoming transfer window.
Patton Cook / WNSR Columnist
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