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Gameday Report: August 7, Week 23

By USLChampionship.com Staff, 08/07/19, 10:00PM EDT

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Nashville earns fourth straight shutout win; Switchbacks, T2 play out entertaining draw

Nashville SC earned its fourth consecutive shutout victory to extend its club-record shutout streak to 376 minutes with a 4-0 victory over Hartford Athletic on Wednesday night at First Tennessee Park.

In the West, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC and the Portland Timbers 2 played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at Weidner Field that saw both sides snap their respective losing streaks, while Las Vegas Lights FC earned a crucial road point against Sacramento Republic FC at Papa Murphy's Park.

Sacramento Republic FC (0) v Las Vegas Lights FC (0)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Republic FC and Lights FC settled for a scoreless draw in a feisty contest that featured six yellow cards at Papa Murphy’s Park. The hosts nearly opened the scoring in the 32nd minute when Keven Aleman slipped Cameron Iwasa in on goal with a brilliant pass to split two defenders, but Las Vegas goalkeeper Thomas Olsen got down quickly to his left to deny the one-on-one opportunity. The visitors were inches away from a goal of their own just over 60 seconds later as José Villarreal settled Javan Torre’s left-wing cross and curled a left-footed shot off the post from the top of the Sacramento box. Republic FC’s Juan Barahona tried his luck from long-range just before halftime, but his left-footed drive flashed wide of the target to send the two sides into the break scoreless. The hosts nearly handed Las Vegas the lead from a 69th minute corner kick as Vinnie Vermeer’s delivery was directed onto his own crossbar by Sacramento forward Stefano Bonomo, but the ball bounced back into play and goalkeeper Rafael Diaz was able to recover it before further danger arrived. Lights FC pushed for the winner with 13 minutes remaining but Irvin Parra’s first-time shot to Kevin Garcia-Lopez’s pull back blazed just over the crossbar. Sam Werner probably should have won the game for Sacramento three minutes later when he lost his marker at the back post but headed Barahona’s left-wing cross over the bar as the two sides split a point apiece.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Keven Aleman, Sacramento Republic FC – Aleman completed 84 percent of his passes, won 10 of 17 duels and made six recoveries to help Republic FC keep a clean sheet at Papa Murphy’s Park.

Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC (2) v Portland Timbers 2 (2)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Timbers 2 and Switchbacks settled for a point apiece in a back-and-forth contest at Weidner Field. The hosts nearly opened the scoring in the fifth minute when Jordan Schweitzer slid a pass to Saeed Robinson, who cut inside his defender and curled a right-footed shot just past the far post from just outside the penalty area. Portland had the ball in the back of the net from a corner kick in the 25th minute but Foster Langsdorf’s tap-in at the back post was ruled out for offsides. However, the visitors would go on to take the lead 10 minutes later when Cristian Ojeda cleaned up a loose ball in the box by blasting a left-footed volley through a crowd and into the back of the net. The Switchbacks equalized three minutes after halftime in a similar style from an indirect free kick, as Abdul Rwatubyaye tapped the ball to Ish Jome to smash home through a crowd on the goal line with a low left-footed strike. Colorado Springs goalkeeper Abraham Rodriguez kept the game tied with a diving save on T2’s Eryk Williamson in the 54th minute and his opposite number Aljaz Ivacic denied Robinson’s high shot in a one-on-one situation four minutes later. Robinson finally got the better of the Portland goalie in the 67th minute, playing a pass into Austin Dewing and charging forward to get the return ball before outpacing a pair of defenders and expertly chipping Ivacic to give the Switchbacks the lead. It lasted just two minutes as Ojeda struck the crossbar with a powerful left-footed drive from distance and Langsdorf was quickest to the rebound, heading the ball past a scrambling Rodriguez to tie things up at two. Schweitzer had a chance to win the game late in stoppage time for the Switchbacks, but his unmarked header from the center of the box sailed over the target as the two sides settled for a point.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Saeed Robinson, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC – Robinson scored a goal, recorded three shots on target, completed 82 percent of his passes and won 6 of 9 duels to help the Switchbacks snap a two-game losing streak.

Nashville SC (4) v Hartford Athletic (0)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nashville scored four goals in the second half to overwhelm the 10-men Athletic. The visitors got off to the worst possible start as they were reduced to 10 men inside the opening 10 minutes when Mads Jorgensen was shown a straight red card for his challenge on Nashville captain Michael Reed, who suffered a gruesome lower leg injury and had to be taken to the hospital for further evaluation. The hosts struggled to pick themselves up after the injury despite the man advantage, recording just one shot on target the rest of the half with Kharlton Belmar’s header from Kosuke Kimura’s right-wing cross just shy of the half-hour mark proving easy work for Hartford goalkeeper Frederik Due. Nashville looked a different side after halftime and opened the scoring six minutes after the break as Reed’s replacement Ken Tribbett headed home Taylor Washington’s corner kick from the center of the box. Daniel Ríos doubled NSC’s lead in the 56th minute, cutting inside his defender and slotting a low right-footed shot past Due for his 15th goal of the season to move even with Solomon Asante atop the race for the Golden Boot. Alan Winn added a third goal eight minutes later, running onto Ríos’ square pass after a lovely dummy from Lebo Moloto and finishing past Due. Ropapa Mensah rounded out the scoring in the 69th minute as a corner kick struck the NSC substitute’s knee in traffic and found the bottom-right corner. Hartford had a golden opportunity to end the shutout streak with five minutes remaining, but Alex Dixon missed the target from the penalty spot and Nashville goalkeeper Matt Pickens made a strong save on a long-range shot from Nicky Downs to ensure the club’s fourth consecutive shutout win.

USLChampionship.com Man of the Match

Daniel Ríos, Nashville SC – Ríos scored for the fifth consecutive game to move into a tie for the league lead with 15 goals, provided an assist and made three key passes to lead Nashville to a fourth straight win.

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