On a beautiful Nashville Saturday night, defending Southeast Conference champions Inter Nashville FC hosted the surprise of the conference, Georgia Revolution FC, in an early yet important match. Inter Nashville was coming off of a tough U.S. Open Cup loss to Nashville SC of the USL and the Revs were off to their best start since 2013, going unbeaten in three matches.
From the first whistle it was evident both teams came to play. The Revs pressed but were beat on a quick counterattack when Nashville’s Ivan Sakou received a long ball, beating a Revs defender and scoring a goal in the first minute. Both teams continued to attack and counterattack. Outstanding defense and goalkeeping kept the game locked at 1-0. In the 27th minute Nashville GK Hayden Coffman made a tremendous save but was injured on the play and replaced by former Rev and 2017 NPSL Combine participant Carson Oakes, who came in ready to play his former team and made some good saves in the first half.
Late in the half Nashville was granted a penalty kick after Rev Rodrigo Goncalves made what looked to be a goal-saving tackle at the top of the arch. Nashville’s Jonathan Remond converted the penalty kick and the teams entered the locker room with the score of 2-0. Nashville was in control of the match, but the Revs turned their anger into motivation as the second half began.
Coach Steo Magennis’ team came out on fire. Substitute Jumar Oakley proved too much for the Nashville defense as he made one penetrating run after another. The entire front line played with a renewed level of aggressiveness which paid off in the 60th minute when Isaac Promise put a head on a perfect corner from Jack Gurr. Just four minutes later EJ Henry would capitalize on a defensive error to tie the game up at 2-2. Revs Arron Whitten and Ryan King entered the game adding more speed, continually harassing the Nashville backline. The attackers put three shots off the bar and forced Oakes to make several one-on-one saves and a highlight-worthy acrobatic grab. In the 76th minute Henry sent a well weighted ball into King who scored the Revs’ third goal.
Nashville refused to surrender. They continued to counter attack but the Revs defense proved up for the task as they stifled one attack after another. The game ended in a dramatic moment when it appeared Nashville scored the equalizer in stoppage time only to be called offside. The game ended with a 3-2 Revs victory.
Man of the Match was Henry. The former Jacksonville Armada U-23 standout played a dominant 88 minutes, scoring a goal and adding an assist. He is making an impact with his new team; in only four games he’s scored two goals and has two assists.
Contributor: Georgia Revolution FC
Photo Credit: Sadie Fields