*

upload_article_image

Cincinnati stops Nashville rally for 2-2 draw

Randall Leal had a goal and an assist to help Nashville rally for a 2-2 tie with Cincinnati in the season opener and first MLS meeting between the former USL rivals on Saturday night.

Leal crossed to Jhonder Cádiz, who finished from close range to bring Nashville within 2-1 in the 20th minute. In the 64th minute, Leal tied it at 2 with a long-range curler that was just above the outstretched reach of goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton.

Nashville pressed forward for the go-ahead goal and had its best chance in the 75th minute, but Tyton made back-to-back saves, recovering to block Handwalla Bwana's putback after going to the ground to save C.J. Sapong's initial shot.

FC Cincinnati midfielder Luciano Acosta, left, celebrates his goal with forward Brenner during the first half against Nashville SC in an MLS soccer match in Nashville, Tenn., Saturday, April 17, 2021. (Andrew NellesThe Tennessean via AP)

Luciano Acosta opened the scoring for Cincinnati in the eighth minute, running behind Rónald Matarrita’s weighted through ball and lightly chipping it past the charging goalkeeper to get behind him for the tap in.

A minute later, Brenner drew a penalty while challenging goalkeeper Joe Willis as he was attempting a clearance and Brenner converted from the spot to double Cincinnati’s lead in the 12th minute.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Nashville SC defender Alistair Johnston (12) goes for a header over FC Cincinnati forward Calvin Harris (20) during the first half of an MLS soccer match in Nashville, Tenn., Saturday, April 17, 2021. (Andrew NellesThe Tennessean via AP)

Nashville SC forward Jhonder Cadiz (99) fights for the ball with FC Cincinnati defender Tom Pettersson (3) during the second half of an MLS soccer match in Nashville, Tenn., Saturday, April 17, 2021. (Andrew NellesThe Tennessean via AP)

FC Cincinnati defender Nick Hagglund (14) defends against Nashville SC midfielder Hany Mukhtar (10) during the first half of an MLS soccer match in Nashville, Tenn., Saturday, April 17, 2021. (Andrew NellesThe Tennessean via AP)

Nashville SC fans react after forward Jhonder Cadiz scored a goal against FC Cincinnati during the first half of an MLS soccer match in Nashville, Tenn., Saturday, April 17, 2021. (Andrew NellesThe Tennessean via AP)