Nashville’s leading scorer Daniel Ríos opened the scoring with a beautiful curling finish in the 11’ minute for his 11th goal of the season, giving Nashville SC its first-ever lead in four trips to Louisville.
Louisville City had a prime chance to even the score late in the opening 45 minutes when the referee awarded a penalty for a foul on Nashville’s Bolu Akinyode in the corner of the box. Louisville midfielder Magnus Rasmussen took the penalty for the champs and skied his attempt over the bar.
In the second half, it was Louisville City who finally found the net from a set piece. A free kick sent in from Oscar Jimenez found the head of defender Paco Craig who buried it near post to equalize the match.
It didn’t take long for Louisville City to find its winner. A through ball out wide for winger Brian Ownby was crossed in to Antoine Hoppenot who one-touched it into the net, sealing Nashville’s loss.
Here are three takeaways from the loss.
1) Ríos Chasing Gold
Daniel Ríos continued his chase for a USL Championship Golden Boot with another goal on Saturday night. It was Ríos 11th of the season, one off the league lead held by Solomon Asante of Phoenix Rising. Ríos finished second in the Golden Boot race last season, losing to now-teammate Cameron Lancaster. Ríos is on pace for his second consecutive 20-goal season, a feat never accomplished in USL Championship history.
2) Lancaster Leaves Match Early
Nashville SC forward Cameron Lancaster made his first return to Slugger Field since coming to Nashville SC from Louisville City in the offseason. Lancaster was a factor early, assisting on the first goal of the match by fellow forward Daniel Ríos. Unfortunately, Lancaster’s match was a short one as the English forward was subbed off in the 29’ minute for Ropapa Mensah following an apparent knock. Lancaster has missed time this season for various minor injuries. Saturday’s match was just his fifth league start of the season.
3) First-Ever Lead then Loss
Nashville SC has been excellent when scoring the first goal, with a 22-0-9 record coming into the match when scoring first. That statistic didn’t hold up against Louisville on Saturday as the two second half goals put an end to the mark. It is also only the second time that Nashville has lost consecutive USL Championship matches after doing so once last season.
Nashville SC will have 11 days between matches as it won’t take the field again until June 17 on the road at Memphis 901 FC. The in-state rivals have met once, earlier this season in Nashville, and the 615 got the better of 901 by a 2-0 score at First Tennessee Park on April 13. Kickoff for that match on June 17 will be 7:30 p.m.