CJ Sapong's two-goal night ensured Nashville SC added another win to their unbeaten home record at Nissan Stadium during the 2021 MLS season, helping them topple FC Cincinnati 3-0 on Saturday evening.
HIGHLIGHTS: Nashville SC vs. FC Cincinnati | July 24, 2021
Nashville had a good early chance in the eighth minute, though Dylan Nealis couldn't quite get himself on the end of a cross from Hany Mukhtar. But in the 13th minute, they ultimately took the lead when a Mukhtar cross was poked in by Sapong to make it a 1-0 contest.
The Sapong-Mukhtar combination was at it again in the 29th minute as a half-chance fizzled out inside the Cincinnati box. Then in the 31st minute, Taylor Washington's crossing attempt to Sapong was deflected out of play as Sapong sought a first-half brace.
Washington went on to save Cincinnati's best chance of the first half seconds later. Brenner took advantage of a failed midfield challenge and found himself on a 2-on-1 with Alvaro Barreal, but was snuffed out at the last second.
Nashville doubled their margin minutes later. Sapong played a clever reverse ball to Randall Leal, who fired it past Kenneth Vermeer to put the hosts up 2-0.
Meanwhile, Cincinnati looked to get on the scoreboard early in the second half as Brenner's eventual shot inside the area off a feed from Luciano Acosta was blocked by Eric Miller. But Nashville made it 3-0 in the 57th minute when Sapong found his brace, getting a perfect header past Vermeer from a Mukhtar free kick to secure three points for his team.
- THE BIG PICTURE: Chalk up yet another home win for the Boys in Gold, as they're now 6-0-5 in the Music City and unbeaten in their last seven matches (3-0-4). After a goalless draw against the Columbus Crew on Wednesday that saw them surrender 18 shots, Nashville enjoyed a rather straightforward performance against a Cincinnati team that's now winless in their last five (0-2-3).
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Nashville will point to one key portion of the night as key to their latest victory: Washington's terrific chase down of Brenner in the 32nd minute that denied Cincinnati an opportunity to level the scoreline.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: It's easily Sapong, who delivered his best performance in a Nashville SC kit. He's presenting head coach Gary Smith with a tough decision after the club signed forward Ake Loba to a Designated Player deal.
GOAL: C.J. Sapong, Nashville SC - 13th minute
- NSH: Sunday, August 1 at Toronto FC | 7:30 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+, TSN)
- CIN: Saturday, July 31 vs. D.C. United | 7:30 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)