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FC Cincinnati continue league-best road run

Mar 25, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; FC Cincinnati midfielder Obinna Nwobodo (5) passes the ball against Nashville SC forward Jacob Shaffelburg (14) at Geodis Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Vazquez scored in the opening minutes of the second half, and FC Cincinnati held on to extend the longest active regular-season road unbeaten streak in MLS to nine games with Saturday night’s 1-0 victory against Nashville SC.

Nashville (2-2-1, 7 points) possessed the ball 54 percent of the time and outshot FCC 15-3 through the first half. However, it was Cincinnati (3-0-2, 11 points) that managed the game’s only goal, with that coming in the early portion of the second half.

After Nashville goalkeeper Joe Willis made a diving hand save on Alvaro Barreal’s strike, Vazquez was there to pounce on the ball and rather easily convert in the 48th minute. The FCC defense did the rest, and keeper Roman Celentano needed to make just three saves, as they improved to 3-0-6 away from home during the regular season since a 2-0 loss at Columbus on July 18.

Off to the franchise’s best start, Cincinnati also recorded its first win in five career tries against Nashville, which has now dropped two in a row — conceding a goal in each match — after outscoring its first three opponents 4-0. Meanwhile, Nashville star and reigning MLS MVP Hany Mukhtar remains scoreless on the young season after recording 23 in 2022.

Though Nashville was the aggressor early, Cincinnati recorded the first quality scoring chance of the night. Off a pass from Luciano Acosta, Brenner found himself in a one-on-one with Willis, who made a sliding stop on the point-blank strike, to keep the match scoreless.

Nashville’s first true chance came via Mukhtar in the 23rd minute. However, Celentano was up to the challenge for the save. In the 36th minute, Nashville’s Fafa Picault went just over the top of the bar on his shot off a perfect corner entry from Mukhtar.

Even after Cincinnati marked the scoresheet, it continued to press on Willis, who was solid most of the night in making six saves. Nashville recorded 17 overall shots but could not even muster many quality looks during more than eight minutes of second-half stoppage time.

–Field Level Media