NASHVILLE, Tn. – Saint Louis FC won 1-0 against Nashville SC in front of 6,070 fans at First Tennessee Park in Match 2 of the USL Championship regular season.
Saint Louis FC scored the lone goal against the run of play in the second half from a corner kick taken by Joaquin Rivas and headed by Caleb Calvert in the 84th minute to claim all three points and improve to 2-0-0 while Nashville SC falls to 1-1-0 on the season.
The first half was fairly open and Nashville SC nearly capitalized in the 2nd minute as Liam Doyle was found at the back post from a corner kick but his header went over the crossbar.
Saint Louis FC had some good spells of possession in the attacking-third of the field but the first goal-scoring opportunity for the away side arrived in the 33rd minute from a free kick as Lewis Hilton crossed the ball to the back post to find Phanuel Kavita—who scored the game-tying goal last week against Indy Eleven—but saw his header sail high.
The best opportunity of the half would come in the 37th minute as Bradley Kamdem Fewo worked around his defender on the left side and found Calvert with his cross but the on-target header was palmed away by Nashville SC goalkeeper Matt Pickens.
The final chance of the half fell to Kamdem Fewo as he was found in the box with a cross from Rivas—who was recently called into the El Salvador National Team for the upcoming international break—but the header went wide to see both sides level going into halftime.
The second half saw Nashville SC with a majority of the chances with the first arriving in the 63rd minute as Daniel Ríos was found in the box from a free kick opportunity but his header went over.
The next chance for the home side would come from another free kick as Cameron Lancaster was found on the edge of the box but his shot went wide.
Jake Fenlason then came up big in the 81st minute as Matt LaGrassa was found with a cross in the box and his point-blank header was tipped over the bar by the STLFC goalkeeper to preserve his first clean sheet of the season. Saint Louis FC would then score the winner in the 84th minute from a corner kick as Rivas crossed to find Calvert in the center of the box and he jumped over his defender to head the ball straight past Washington, Missouri-native Pickens for his first goal of the season.
“I could not be prouder of the players tonight,” said STLFC Head Coach Anthony Pulis. “Our defensive structure was excellent and we made it really difficult for a talented team to break us down. The only opportunities Nashville had were from set pieces. I actually thought we created the better chances over the course of the 90 minutes and we should’ve received a penalty early on as well. It’s important we stay grounded and prepare well for what’s going to be another tough game next week against Tampa Bay Rowdies.”
Saint Louis FC vs. Tampa Bay Rowdies – Saturday, March 23rd at 1:00 p.m. CT
Nashville SC at New York Red Bulls II – Sunday, March 24th at 12:00 p.m. CT