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Potent offenses stifled in 0-0 draw between Nashville, Real Salt Lake

May 15, 2021; Sandy, Utah, USA; Nashville SC midfielder Randall Leal (8) and Real Salt Lake defender Andrew Brody (2) battle in the first half at Rio Tinto Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Nashville SC and Real Salt Lake battled to a 0-0 draw in Sandy, Utah, on Saturday night.

Nashville (1-0-4) earned its first road point of the season while engineering a third straight shutout. It has not allowed a goal for 318 straight minutes and seven consecutive halves. Joe Willis earned his third clean sheet in five matches.

Salt Lake (2-1-1) claimed four total points from a three-game homestand. David Ochoa earned his first clean sheet of the season.

Both clubs promised to deliver offensive fireworks coming into their first-ever meeting in MLS play. Nashville averaged 1.5 goals per game through its first four matches. Salt Lake averaged three goals per game through three matches. Each club had yielded four total goals to opponents coming into Saturday’s match.

Things played out much differently on the field. Offense took a backseat to defense for 90 minutes for both clubs.

A defensive battle ensued from the opening kick. Nashville and Salt Lake each totaled three shots but neither club put a ball on frame over the first 45 minutes. RSL dominated possession before halftime, controlling the ball 60.8 percent of the time.

Nashville gained an advantage on offense in the second half but could not capitalize. The Tennessee club had nine shots over the 45-minute stretch and placed three shots on frame. But RSL held strong and kept them out of the net.

Nashville came closest to breaking through in the 79th minute. Jhonder Cadiz latched onto a cross from Daniel Lovitz and unleashed a header from the center of the box. Ochoa blocked the ball on the line, saving what looked to be a sure goal.

Salt Lake finished the match without a single shot on frame. Both clubs totaled 12 shots.

–Field Level Media