The first half was, in a word, wild, with three goals in the first 20 minutes. Cincinnati got on the scoreboard first courtesy of an eighth-minute Luciano Acosta goal. The debuting former D.C. United playmaker combined with another FCC newcomer, defender Ronald Matarrita, who played him in front of goal for a relatively easy finish once he got control of the ball.
Then, a minute later, new Brazilian striker Brenner was fouled in the box by Nashville 'keeper Joe Willis, and converted his PK once VAR confirmed the infraction, though Willis guessed right and nearly denied the 21-year-old his debut MLS goal.
But Nashville came back, with a beautiful team goal that saw Jhonder Cadiz get his third career MLS goal, thanks to work by Anibal Godoy and Randall Leal to get the ball teed up for him. Nashville then put additional pressure on the Cincy defense for the remainder of the half, but couldn't get a goal in to equalize before halftime.
Then, in the 64th minute, Nashville finally found its leveling goal, with Leal — denied just a minute earlier from FC Cincinnati 'keeper Przemyslaw Tyton — curling a stunning shot from beyond the 18 into the far top corner just out of Tyton's reach. The match continued with its frenetic pace after that, with Nashville getting off 32 total shots in the match. Despite that pace and five minutes of stoppage time, the teams had to settle for splitting the points.
- THE BIG PICTURE: For Nashville, this isn’t quite the result that helps them toward a playoff push, but they did show resolve to come away with the point after going down 2-0 inside of 12 minutes. For FCC, a road point’s a good start to the season, and new acquisition Brenner is on pace for a 34-goal season!
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: It was a match full of electric moments, but seriously, we’ve got to get another look at that Leal equalizer.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Tyton came up huge with a double-digit save number, facing 32 shots total on the night. He did let in two goals, but one was the result of Nashville breaking down the Cincy defense, and the other was simply a tip-your-hat shot.
- NSH: Saturday, April 24 vs. CF Montreal | 2 pm ET (MLS Live on ESPN+)
- CIN: Saturday, April 24 at NYCFC | 1 pm ET (MLS Live on ESPN+)