Nashville SC picked up a long-awaited first win of the season as they beat the New England Revolution 2-0 at Nissan Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Gary Smith's men had started the year with three draws in a row, but notched their first winning result of 2021 in front of a vibrant home crowd.

Both sides saw positive spells of momentum through the first portion of the match but were ultimately unable to find the opener. That changed in the 25th minute as a nice ball played into the box by Daniel Lovitz found Walker Zimmerman, whose header found its way to the leg of C.J. Sapong for his first goal in a Nashville kit.

Sapong's tally gave Nashville their first lead at any point of the young MLS season, and they looked to threaten for a second in short order in the 29th before a spell of nice combination play ended up tipped over the crossbar by Matt Turner.

Meanwhile, the Revs — entering the day at first place in the Eastern Conference — had precious little to show for themselves over the opening 45 minutes as Nashville clearly had the better of the play in the first half.

The hosts again looked to jump in front by two early in the second half as a promising chance from Dominique Badji set up by Sapong was stopped by Turner. The Revs, though, appeared to level the match in the 48th minute through Adam Buksa, but Arnór Ingvi Traustason was adjudged to have received the ball in an offside position in the buildup. They had another opportunity to level things in the 63rd minute as Buksa's leaping header hit the post.

Looking to turn the deficit, New England head coach Bruce Arena opted for a triple substitution with 25 minutes to go, inserting Brandon Bye, Teal Bunbury and Wilfrid Kaptoum in place of Traustason, DeJuan Jones and Lucas Maciel Felix.

But, with just over 15 minutes to go, Nashville finally doubled their margin. A Revs giveaway found Alex Muyl, who fired a low strike that Turner couldn't get to in time as the lead grew to 2-0.

The match took a dramatic turn for New England as Buksa appeared to have been taken down in the scoring area with just over five minutes to go. But Video Review determined that there was nothing clear and obvious to give the penalty, and Nashville would ultimately see the remaining time out for a victory.

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Goals

  • 24' - NSH - C.J. Sapong | WATCH
  • 75' - NSH - Alex Muyl | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: Consider it message received for the Boys in Gold. After a tweet on Sunday from club captain Dax McCarty deeming the club's run of three straight draws to open their sophomore campaign "not good enough", they responded with a strong performance against the East tabletoppers. For the Revs, they depart the Music City with no points and a disappointing attacking effort as they head out to Utah to face Real Salt Lake next week.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Nice buildup play put Nashville on the board first, and it was the veteran Sapong opening his account.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: It has to be the captain McCarty, who helped guide his team to a tremendous effort and hand New England their first loss of the year.

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