Nashville SC Blitzes Swope Park Rangers 5-1 at First Tennessee Park: Nissan Recap
NASHVILLE - It was a goal party on a cloudy and rainy night in Nashville as Nashville Soccer Club peppered the Swope Park Rangers net to earn a 5-1 victory on Saturday night at First Tennessee Park.
Daniel Ríos was the star of the show, as he scored the first two goals and helped with an assist on a third goal, all scored in the first 16 minutes of the match. His first goal came off of a set piece as defender Liam Doyle headed the ball across the box and onto the outstretched foot of Ríos.
In the 14' minute, Kharlton Belmar made a run down the wing and lofted a ball into the box for Ríos to head home for the 2-0 advantage. The MLS-bound Ríos wasn't done, as he sent a cross through the box that Alan Winn corralled and knocked in for the third goal of the match.
Lebo Moloto had a couple of nice chances from just outside the box near the end of the first half, but neither found the back of the net.
In the second half, Belmar received a phenomenal feed from midfielder Matt LaGrassa and calmly tucked the ball through the keeper to pad the score to 4-0. Swope Park responded with a goal in the 61' minute to get on the score sheet.
Late in the match, Cameron Lancaster came on for Ríos and created some chances of his own, including a rocket of a shot that hit the post. In the final moments, Moloto made a creative counterattacking run through the middle and laid a ball off to LaGrassa. His hard shot was fumbled by the keeper, and Lancaster was there to tap home the rebound to grab a fifth goal for Nashville.
Score Early, Score Often
Nashville Soccer Club was looking to respond in a big way after a 1-0 defeat against Tampa Bay Rowdies on Wednesday night, and it got it in the form of three goals in the opening 16 minutes, the quickest three-goal stretch in club history. The Boys in Gold utilized set pieces and good runs down the right flank to quickly jump out to the big lead. For reference, Nashville had scored just five first-half goals in the first nine matches of the 2019 season.
The five goals that Nashville ended up scoring by the time the final whistle sounded were the most Nashville SC had ever scored in a match.
Ríos Hammers Rangers
Ríos had himself a remarkable 16-minute stretch to open the match. He got himself in the proper position to tap home a headed ball from Doyle on the set piece, and got himself in a scoring spot again on a cross from Belmar that he headed in for a 2-0 lead. Finally, Ríos showed his skill in the open field as well as he used his big frame to keep a defender off of his back and lay a cross to Winn for the third goal.
Belmar Beats Former Club
Through the first nine matches of the season, Belmar has been one of the brightest Boys in Gold in the attacking third. In his first match against his former club, Belmar finally got himself his first points in a gold shirt. His first-half assist to Ríos helped pad Nashville's lead over Swope Park, and his great run off of a LaGrassa feed led to his first goal for Nashville SC.
Nashville SC will be back in action on Tuesday night in a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup second round matchup against South Georgia Tormenta 2 at Hayes Stadium on the campus of MTSU in Murfreesboro. The Boys in Gold will be back at First Tennessee Park on Saturday, May 18 at 7 PM against Charlotte Independence.
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