MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis 901 FC fell 0-2 to in-state rivals Nashville SC, despite having more possession and producing more shots.
Unlike the first match against Nashville in April, Memphis immediately put pressure on Nashville.
Nashville began the match with a press and Memphis were prepared.
In the 6th minute, captain Cameron Lindley won the ball and commanded the break. Elliot Collier was marked by the full-back, but Lindley passed the forward open on the left flank. Collier glided into the box and sent the first shot of the match high.
The chance was missed but Memphis sent a message to Nashville.
Minutes later, following a corner kick, Dan Metzger set his sights on goal from 20 yards. The shot was well hit and Nashville goalkeeper, Matt Pickens was forced to make an acrobatic save.
Memphis looked the more dangerous team through the first 15 minutes and would have taken a one goal lead, but the head official disallowed the goal.
Memphis forced a scrum in front of Nashville’s goal-mouth and Brandon Allen seemingly scored after a deflected shot. The head official convened with the linesman and the two decided that Allen was in an offside position before slotting his shot into the net.
“Early goals change things, I say that all of the time,” head coach, Tim Mulqueen said. “I saw the replay at halftime, it was definitely not offside. If that goal stands then it is a totally different game.”
The disallowed goal was a wakeup call for Nashville.
Both teams produced goal-scoring opportunities in the first 35 minutes and Memphis looked the more dangerous team. The 901 FC managed four shots with two on target compared to three shots with one on target for the opposition.
In the final 15 minutes of the first half, Nashville found a rhythm.
Midfielder, Bolu Akinyode won a free-kick from 30-yards out and Lebo Moloto stepped up to take the spot-kick. He whipped in a weighted cross and defender Jimmy Ockford redirected the free-kick with his left foot, past Scott Levene for the opening goal.
Memphis immediately created a clear-cut chance in the opening minutes of the second half. Allen could not fire a shot off in the box and Nashville broke out on the offensive. Rios received a pass in stride and beat Levene for the second goal of the match.
With a two-goal lead and momentum on their side Nashville’s head coach, Gary Smith decided to park the bus. He instructed his team to drop 10 players into their own half when Memphis had possession.
The 901 FC managed three more chances but could not penetrate Nashville’s defensive wall.
“The fans deserve more,” Lindley said. “We have got to come back on Saturday and get three points this weekend.”
Memphis continue their homestand on Saturday, July 20 against New York Red Bulls II.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at AutoZone Park.
Written by: Caleb Hilliard