Real Salt Lake fell 2-0 to Nashville Soccer Club in an action-packed thriller at Geodis Park on Sunday, May 8, in Nashville, Tennessee. The loss drops RSL to 4-3-4 on the season, but they remain in fifth place in the Western Conference standings with 16 points.
Nashville started quickly as attacking midfielder Hany Mukhtar took the first shot in the sixth minute; however, RSL goalkeeper Zac MacMath made the save. After more possession dominance, Nashville midfielder Randall Leal sailed the ball over the goal.
RSL midfielder Everton Luiz picked up a yellow card in the 20th minute while Nashville remained persistent. Within 10 minutes following the foul, Nashville took five more shots. However, MacMath stayed strong and made three saves while the other two shots were missed.
Nashville continued to press in RSL territory but was unable to get any opportunities during the remainder of the half. RSL took a corner in the 41st but came up empty.
The second half began with RSL pushing into Nashville territory with midfielder Marcelo Silva heading from inside the box, but the shot went left. In the 49th minute, RSL midfielder Pablo Ruiz picked up a second yellow card for the team.
Within the following eight minutes, Nashville took four shots on goal and three corners. During that span, MacMath made two more excellent saves for RSL while the other two shots missed.
RSL drove back down the field with Aaron Herrera trying to connect in the 59th minute, but the shot was blocked by the Nashville backline. Marcelo Silva attempted another header into the goal in the 60th after a corner but again missed to the left.
Nashville got on the board in the 63rd minute after defender Dave Romney connected to the top-left of the goal. RSL tried to answer in the 68th and 70th minutes, but Nashville goalkeeper Joe Willis made the saves. RSL forward Bobby Wood attempted another shot in the 76th minute but missed.
Nashville kept their gas on the pedal to close the game, with Mukhtar taking a wide left shot in the 82nd. Nashville sealed the deal with striker C.J. Sapong grounding into the left corner to go up 2-0 in the 90th + 2nd minute. Nashville closed out the game with two more shots before time expired.
Despite a season-high seven saves by Zac MacMath, via RSL.com, Nashville was able to score two and dominate. Nashville out-possessed RSL 54% to 46% (464 to 407 passes), outshot RSL 21 to six and took six to four on corners. However, RSL had 29 clearances compared to Nashville’s 14.
Real Salt Lake now returns home to Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah to take on Austin FC on Saturday, May 14 at 8:30 p.m. MT. The match can be streamed on ESPN+.
Featured image via USA Today Sports.