NASHVILLE, Tn. – Penn FC fell 3-1 to Nashville SC after the home side scored a goal late in the second half that effectively ended Rush Soccer’s First Team’s comeback attempt.
Down 2-0 in the 75th minute, Penn FC’s second-half substitutions ignited a potential comeback. Calvin Rezende — who substituted into the game in the 61st minute — and Marco Franco, set up a give-and-go play on the right wing. Rezende ran past his defender to receive the ball from Franco at the top of the box. Rezende fired a driving shot on the ground that goalkeeper Matt Pickens saved but could not corral, and the ball rolled out of play for a Penn FC corner.
On the subsequent corner kick, Ken Tribbett headed a point-blank shot from Pedro Galvao’s service. Pickens got his hand on the ball and deflected it out of bounds for another Penn FC corner.
Jerry Ortiz — a 71st-minute substitution — whipped his corner service into the box. Tribbett lost his defender and drifted around Nashville’s set-piece formation. The captain rose into the air and placed his header past Pickens and into the net.
The rejuvenated Blue and White attempted to mount their comeback before a familiar face set up the dagger for Nashville. In the 81st minute, former Harrisburg player, Ropapa Mensah got off a shot inside the box that was deflected. The ball bounced to the feet of Franco who was defending the far post. Franco cleared the ball, but it was deflected to the middle of the box to the waiting feet of Alan Winn. The Nashville substitute did not hesitate and placed his shot into the net.
Nashville drew first blood late in the first half with the help of two new signees Ismaila Jome and Brandon Allen. In the 36th minute, Jome raced up the left wing and crossed the ball to Allen. The forward placed his shot to the right and past the outstretched arms of goalkeeper Romu Peiser.
The home side doubled its lead with a wundergoal in the 48th minute. Lebo Molloto played a give and go to Allen outside the box. Molloto blasted a screamer from the top of the half circle that ricocheted off the bottom of the crossbar and into the net.
Penn FC returns home to face Toronto FC II on Saturday, June 9. The team is hosting Star Wars night and post-match fireworks provided by Sky Shooters. Pre and post-match parties will also be hosted by the team — beforehand at Skyline Sports Complex and afterward at Mr. G’s Sports Bar. Tickets are available to purchase on pennfc.com/tickets.