Louisville City FC dropped a second straight contest on Sunday night, Nashville SC the thorn in their side in a 2-0 loss at First Tennessee Park in the reverse fixture.
Two goals from midfielder Lebo Moloto propelled the hosts as LouCity failed to hit the target for just the second time in the 2018 campaign so far.
Attacking from the getgo, Nashville imposed themselves on the "Boys in Purple" as surging runs from Lebo Moloto and Ropapa Mensah began to cause trouble for the LouCity backline early on. Despite creating a number of opportunities in the opening few minutes of play, Nashville was unable to break down a staunch LouCity defense.
However, slipping in behind, Mensah turned a pass on the byline towards Moloto, and the forward didn't waste any time in getting an important toe on the ball to send it past LouCity 'keeper Greg Ranjitsingh to open the scoring. At the break, the visitors trailed 1-0.
Second half changes saw Shaun Francis, Luke Spencer, and Ilija Ilic all introduced as LouCity attempted to turn the game on its head, but their work was canceled out by Moloto's second of the night in the 84th minute to ultimately seal the points for the home side.
The Key Points:
“Obviously, we’re hugely disappointed. I think when you look at our performance today, we weren’t at it. I don’t think we’ve played well. I thought Nashville at times played well, sat deep and then were able to counter and cause us some problems. Overall, I can’t recall them having too many real shots. I thought they took their goals well. I thought we weren’t really creating enough or at times moving the ball quickly enough. I thought, normally for how we’ve played, we seemed to just be a little bit sluggish. Ideally we needed to move the ball a lot quicker than we were today.”
On the attack:
“I think again, for us, it’s about a better understanding of what’s required. I think something, for me in the last two weeks, our spatial understanding needs to be a lot better. It’s tight and narrow and there are two compact units in there that are sliding across and I think we need to do a better job of understanding where the space is. Again, that’s on me to try to emphasize that to make sure there’s better understanding of where that space is and how to capitalize on it. I think too often we found ourselves in areas and made the wrong choice—bad pass, bad decision—in our quality at times. That was something that was really frustrating.”
On what he liked:
“Not enough, being honest. Nowhere near enough for our quality and how we’re capable of playing. There were too many things that we weren’t happy with.”
On the Open Cup factoring in team selection:
“I think you obviously need to be mindful of three games in such a short period. For us, it’s trying to make sure we put out a team that is capable. I think all of our players are capable. I think for us, it’s disappointing because for where our level is at, we haven’t hit that level today. I need to do a better job at making sure the understanding of space is definitely there.”
On what his team can learn:
“There’s lot for us to reflect upon and look at. I think it’s a case of making sure we sit down with the guys and go through that. That’s on me to make sure there’s better understanding of where the space is to make better decisions. I need to do a way better job of making sure that the guys understand where the space is and try and help them with that decision-making.”
On the week’s focus:
“It is [a heavier week] but I’m not really interested in that. When you analyze the league position, we’re in a fantastic position in the league. I think we just need to be mindful of the last couple of games. There’s some lessons there that we need to be sharper on and, as I said, I need to do a better job of making sure there’s a better understanding of situations that have popped up. There are some examples again tonight that I clearly need to do a better job of making sure there’s understanding with that. For us, it’s now focusing on making sure that the players have a little bit of rest, make sure we’re ready to go for what will be a very tough game on Wednesday, and try and prepare for that as best we can.”
OUT - Richard Ballard (stress fracture)
OUT - Pat McMahon (personal leave)
Nashville SC 2 : 0 Louisville City FC
Sunday, May 13, 2018
First Tennessee Park - Nashville, TN
84 degrees / sunny
NSH - Lebo Moloto (Ropapa Mensah) 37'
NSH - Lebo Moloto (Michael Reed) 84'
NSH - Bradley Bourgeois 48'
NSH - Liam Doyle 58'
NSH - Lebo Moloto 65'
LOU - Cameron Lancaster 66'
Starting XI (4-1-4-1): Greg Ranjitsingh (GK); Alexis Souahy, Paco Craig, Sean Totsch (Shaun Francis 46'), Oscar Jimenez; Paolo DelPiccolo (c); Kyle Smith, Devon "Speedy" Williams, Niall McCabe (Luke Spencer 58'), Brian Ownby (Ilija Ilic 67'); Cameron Lancaster
Subs: Tim Dobrowolski, Chris Hubbard, Magnus Rasmussen, George Davis IV