Mensah, Akinyode Turn in Man of the Match Performances
NASHVILLE - After a fan vote late in Nashville SC's 2-1 win over Charleston Battery, Ropapa Mensah was named the Budweiser Man of the Match in the 85' minute. That vote occurred prior to Bolu Akinyode scoring the match-winning goal in the 90'+3 minute to give Nashville a dramatic three points. Due to that, we will highlight both goalscorers as Men of the Match.
Mensah's goal, a header via a cross from defender Darnell King, equalized the match in the 56' minute. The young forward had been sniffing the goal all night, with multiple shots and opportunities in the first half. The persistence paid off with the header for Mensah's fifth goal of the season. In the match, the Ghanaian had seven shots, a Nashville SC high for any player home match this season, with two finding the target. Mensah also tied for the team lead with five chances created.
Akinyode, meanwhile, started his 16th start of the season and his 23rd appearance in league play. With long term injuries to midfielder Derrick Jones and Michael Reed, Akinyode has been a solid and consistent presence in the midfield, providing cover for the NSC backline. His thrilling goal was his first goal of the season and just his second in his two seasons in Nashville. Both of Akinyode's goals have come in the 90' minute or later, tying him with Mensah for the most 90' minute goals in club history.
Even without the goal, Akinyode's performance in Nashville's win was noteworthy as he completed a team-high 89.7% of his passes while contributing two interceptions and three tackles.
Akinyode, Mensah and the rest of the Boys in Gold will have a full week to recover from a three match in eight days stretch before a huge road clash with Tampa Bay Rowdies next Saturday in St. Petersburg, Fla.
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