The Philadelphia Union held Nashville SC to a 1-1 on Sunday as the hosts inaugurated their new home Geodis Park. Mikael Uhre made history as the first ever player to score in the stadium, before Randall Leal’s penalty canceled out his efforts to mark the first Nashville goal.
Nashville kicked off strong, edging out the Philadelphia Union in possession and opportunities. The hosts were unlucky not to get the goal in the first 45, as Dax McCarty and Alex Muyl both led the attack with two stunning shots on goal.
The midfielder, in particular, tested Union goalkeeper Andre Blake, forcing him to dive left before getting a slight touch on the ball to keep it out of the net.
But after the break, it was the Philadelphia Union who returned stronger.
The visiting side gained confidence, enabling Daniel Gazdag to make the run forward and find Mikael Uhre inside the box for the first goal of the game. The striker’s right footed shot into the center of the goal made history as the first ever inside Nashville’s newest stadium.
The Union only held the advantage for a bit, before midfielder Jose Martinez conceded a penalty for a handball inside the box. Randall Leal stepped up to the spot, and buried the shot into the bottom left corner. Blake made the dive to the correct side, but Leal’s strike outpaced him.
The victory propelled the Union back to first place on the Eastern Conference table, while Nashville trails in ninth on the Western Conference standings.
1. Nashville SC
GK: Joe Willis - 7.5/10 - Decent performance. Not regular tested in the first 45, before conceding in the second.
RB: Alex Muyl - 7.5/10 - Strongest offensive opportunities in the first half before losing steam and drawing back in the second half.
CB: Jack Maher - 7/10 - Still finding his footing as a young player, silly mistakes made.
CB: Walker Zimmerman - 7.5/10 - Inconsistent. Four necessary clearances in the first half, but terrible one-on-one defending on Uhre before he scored.
CB: David Romney - 7.5/10 - Solid on the left.
LB: Daniel Lovitz - 7.5/10 - Made a couple decent runs forward, but provided the necessary coverage at the back.
RW: Randall Leal - 8/10 - First Nashville player to score at Geodis Park after burying the second half penalty.
CM: Sean Davis - 7/10 - Disappointing, lost in the midfield. No offensive contributions.
CM: Dax McCarty - 7.5/10 - Excellent attempts on goal in the first half, but energy slowly dwindled in the second 45.
LW: Hany Mukhtar - 9/10 - Led Nashville's offensive efforts in the second half, but must be more precise when finishing.
F: C. J. Sapong - 6/10 - Zero shots in 90 minutes of play as a lone striker is unacceptable.
SUB: Aké Arnaud Loba (For Davis, '73) - 7/10 - Nothing special.
SUB: Brian Anunga (For Leal, '87) - N/A
2. Philadelphia Union
GK: Andre Blake - 9/10 - Phenomenal performance. Almost held off Nashville entirely before the handball. Cannot be blamed for not saving the penalty.
RB: Nathan Harriel - 8/10 - Solid at the back. Made the necessary clearances, and slowed down Mukhtar.
CB: Jakob Glesnes - 7/10 - Inconsistent. Good when holding down Mukhtar, but appeared lost when defending set pieces.
CB: Jack Elliott - 7.5/10 - Not the most reliable, but manages fine when surrounded by Harriel and Wagner.
LB: Kai Wagner - 8/10 - Completed the job well. Could've boasted the clean sheet had Martinez not conceded the penalty.
RW: Alejandro Bedoya - 7/10 - More is expected from the captain. Lacked urgency and creativity on the offense, and only adequate on the defense.
CM: Dániel Gazdag - 8.5/10 - Solid on the attack, gaining more confidence in the second half. Assisted the Uhre's goal after two individual shots.
CM: José Martínez - 5/10 - Awarded a penalty to Nashville with a reckless handball inside the box. Any contributions canceled out by a novice error.
LW: Leon Flach - 7/10 - Disappointing. Failed to match the offensive efforts of those around him. Lacked pace.
F: Julián Carranza - 7/10 - Started strong, managing one strong opportunity in the first half before leaving it up to Uhre on the attack.
F: Mikael Uhre - 9/10 - Great overall performance. Active throughout before scoring his first Major League Soccer goal.
SUB: Cory Burke (For Carranza, '63) - 7/10 - Still finding his way, but managed fine.
SUB: Quinn Sullivan (For Uhre, '74) - 7/10 - Standard performance for a sub.
SUB: Matthew Real (For Flach, '96) - N/A