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FC Cincinnati top Nashville SC, stay unbeaten at home

FC Cincinnati top Nashville SC, stay unbeaten at home

Luciano Acosta had a goal and an assist as MLS-leading FC Cincinnati remained undefeated at home with a 3-1 victory against short-handed Nashville SC on Saturday night.

With the score 2-1, referee Ramy Touchan awarded Nashville a penalty kick in second-half stoppage time, but rescinded the call after a video review.

Santiago Arias and Aaron Boupendza also scored for Cincinnati (15-2-6, 51 points), which improved to 11-0-1 at TQL Stadium.

Walker Zimmerman scored for Nashville (11-8-5, 38 points), which has three consecutive losses for the first time in franchise history. For the second consecutive match, Nashville finished with nine players after Taylor Washington received a second yellow card and was ejected in the 68th minute and Fafa Picault befell the same fate two minutes later.

Cincinnati broke a 1-all tie in the 74th minute. Acosta controlled the ball just outside the top of the 18-yard box and sent a diagonal pass to Arias as he cut toward the net from the right wing. Arias took one touch and then lifted a shot just over sliding goalkeeper Joe Willis from the top of the 6-yard box.

Boupendza, making his Cincinnati debut, scored in the ninth minute of second-half stoppage time off a pass from Brandon Vazquez.

The match was delayed for an hour at the start because of thunderstorms in the Cincinnati area.

Acosta appeared to give Cincinnati the lead in the eighth minute when he stole the ball from Zimmerman near midfield and dribbled to the top of the 18-yard box before chipping the ball over an onrushing Willis and into the net. But a video review determined Acosta had tripped Zimmerman and the goal was waved off.

Nashville took the lead in the 31st minute. Randall Leal’s cross from the left wing was mishandled by Cincinnati goalkeeper Roman Celentano, with the ball falling to Zimmerman just inside the top of the 6-yard box. Zimmerman then hammered a shot into an open net.

Cincinnati pulled even in the 42nd minute as Acosta converted a penalty kick after Nashville’s Alex Muyl was called for a handball. Acosta put a drive into the lower left corner of the net, just out of reach of Willis.