C.J. Sapong scores twice as Nashville SC blanks FC Cincinnati

C.J. Sapong scored twice and also recorded an assist, as Nashville SC extended its club-record home unbeaten streak to 12 matches with Saturday night's 3-0 victory over FC Cincinnati.

Sapong opened the scoring with his 75th regular-season MLS goal in 13th minute, then assisted on Randall Leal's strike on 35 minutes. He capped his stellar offensive evening in the 57th, when he headed home Hany Mukhtar's ball from a set piece for his fourth goal in five matches.

That was more than enough offense for Nashville, which is 7-0-5 at home since a 1-0 loss to FC Dallas on Nov. 4. Nashville, amid a 4-0-3 overall stretch, has taken four points at home this season from Cincinnati.

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Cincinnati scored twice in the first 12 minutes during a 2-2 draw at Nashville to open the season, but managed just seven overall shots and none on target Saturday. That made a rather quiet night for home keeper Joe Willis, as Nashville recorded its second straight clean sheet, and seventh on the campaign.

Following a relatively modest start, Nashville broke through when Sapong slid in a splendid cross from Mukhtar, which was deflected by FCC defender Geoff Cameron, to open the scoring.

Cincinnati appeared to be in a strong position to level the match just beyond the half-hour mark, but the visitors' two-on-one chance was thwarted by Nashville defender Washington. Shortly after, Nashville would go up 2-0.

On the pursuit, Sapong delivered a perfect ball to Leal, who had little trouble beating FCC goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer for his third goal of 2021. Sapong's second goal came via his head amid a crowd from Mukhtar's brilliant service.

It was the eighth multi-goal game for Sapong, and first since September 2019. Nashville has recorded eight of its 22 home goals over the last two matches there.

FCC is 0-2-3 since winning back-to-back contests June 23 and 26.