In a game that had everything, Inter Nashville FC defeated Emerald Force SC 5-3 on Saturday night in Nashville. Eight goals, two red cards, two penalties, and plenty of strong challenges were the highlights of the second meeting of these teams in a week.
Nashville started the game in control of possession and hit the post in the third minute on a shot from Ivan Sakou. Inter continued to attack and created a handful of good chances but were unable to convert. They were hit with a stunning long-range goal by Emerald Force against the run of play after 15 minutes. Nashville regrouped and continued to dominate the game and finally found the net on 23 minutes from a well-controlled volley by Danny Dunleavy.
Dunleavy was involved In Nashville’s second goal as his cross was handled in the box by a Force defender. Sakou stepped up and smashed the penalty into the bottom corner in the 33rd minute to give Inter a 2-1 lead.
The game was very physical from the kick off and in the 35th minute the passion boiled over and Emerald Force had a player sent off. Despite playing a man down, Force finished the first half the strongest and capitalized on poor defending from Inter to tie it up with another long-range shot.
Inter came out in the second half and the man advantage was put into full effect as they attacked non-stop but struggled to break down a determined Force team. In the 56th minute, Richmond Taylor replaced Victor Tsado. He used his pace to get at the Emerald Force defense and scored Nashville’s third with a composed finish from the edge of the box in the 61st minute. Taylor also assisted Nashville’s fourth goal with a good run through the heart of the Force defense and an unselfish pass to Sakou to score his second of the night.
The night went from bad to worst for the Force as they had a second player sent off for violent conduct in the 69th minute and gave up a second penalty for a foul on Sakou in the 74th minute. Sakou had to leave the field and could not take the penalty so captain Richie Reichenberger stepped up and converted to make it 5-2. A rare off night for Inter’s goalkeeper Hayden Coffman was compounded in the 81st minute when he let an easy long-range free kick right through his hands to finish the scoring at 5-3.
Inter moved to third in the table after five games while Emerald Force stay rooted to the bottom of the NPSL’s Southeast Conference. Inter Nashville travel to play the Atlanta Silverbacks on Saturday before back-to-back home games.
Contributor: Inter Nashville FC
Photo Credit: Sofia Reyes