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RSL manages 2-1 win over Nashville on back of MacMath masterclass

MLS: Nashville SC at Real Salt Lake Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

It was a cold — but importantly not a snowy — night at Rio Tinto Stadium, and it was a match beset by defensive injuries (one before, one during.) But most importantly, it was a match Real Salt Lake managed to win over newly Western side Nashville SC, winning 2-1 on the back of a masterful Zac MacMath performance

  • Goal, RSL 1-0 Nashville 6’ — Bobby Wood makes a smart near-post run on a corner kick, heading home the set piece from Justin Meram.
  • 6’ Nashville threatens through Daniel Lovitz and Teal Bunbury, with the latter getting an excellent opportunity in the center of the box. Touch and go stuff early on, with Nashville aiming for an immediate response.
  • 13’ Nashville threatens Zac MacMath with a very fine shot, which he punches away.
  • 20’ Hany Mukhtar forces another really good save from MacMath. The RSL goalkeeper has kept RSL in it to this point
  • 25’ Walker Zimmerman heads one past MacMath from a free kick, leveling the score line. A napkin blows on the field. It is a cold wind.
  • 31’ Pablo Ruiz sends a shot just wide of Nashville’s goal. It might have been blocked if on target, but who knows.
  • 45’ Daniel Lovitz hits the post for Nashville after a tremendous lobbed pass. He had MacMath completely beat. Wild stuff.
  • Also 45’ Tate Schmitt loops a shot over the crossbar, failing to finish an incisive breakaway from Pablo Ruiz and Maikel Chang. Chang’s pass in particular was quite good.
  • 54’ Tate Schmitt! Would you believe it! He picks up a free kick not dealt with properly by Nashville and slots home perfectly with a low, simple shot. What a story Schmitt has given us in the early days of the season — from a loan to Phoenix last year to a starting spot in this one. Tremendous.
  • the Second Half’ MacMath continues to keep RSL in contention. His shot-stopping has turned back time on his career.
  • 60’ Justen Glad goes down after a play; he grabs his leg. A sub — Aaron Herrera! Sergio Cordova also comes on. Herrera goes right as a center back. Fun.
  • 78’ Meram and Ruiz exit, Löffelsend and Luiz enter. A good shift from both.
  • 84’ Chang exits, Bode Davis enters. Things are getting tight.
  • 87’ MacMath with another important save, perhaps a bit easier than some others but of even greater importance. Man of the Match performance easily from the GK.
  • Stoppage’ Mukhtar sends a shot juuuust over the bar. Dax McCarty is shown a red card! You love to see it. You less love to see Bode Davis get kicked in the face.