Photo courtesy M. Williams / Penn FC
HARRISBURG, Penn. – Penn FC and Nashville SC fought out a physical 0-0 draw in a bruising encounter at FNB Field on Tuesday night. Some early free kicks allowed Penn chances to open the scoring as Jerry Ortiz took the set piece duties, and he challenged Nashville goalkeeper Matt Pickens with a good free kick on which the Nashville netminder was up to the task. That would be a trend that would continue throughout the first half, with Penn having the bulk of the opportunities but relying on set-pieces to get them. The two teams came out from the break with a faster pace as they looked for the opening goal and the first chance of the second half fell to Nashville captain Michael Reed, whose shot from distance in the 55th minute was denied by a strong Sean Lewis save. But the match was physical throughout with 29 fouls and seven yellow cards which meant that neither side was able to really get things flowing, helping the match end scoreless.
Three Things That Matter:
1. A change at the back for Penn FC proved vital in this match as goalkeeper Sean Lewis was handed his first start for the hosts this season, and he played a big hand in the scoreless draw, making three saves to earn a shutout.
2. Penn came into this match having recorded just 29 shots all season, the second-fewest in the USL. This match showed some signs of that trend changing as Penn FC drastically upped its average shots statistic with 11 shots on the night, but the side was unable to find a way to claim its first win of the season as it played to a fourth consecutive draw.
3. Momentum was hard to come by in the match for either side, with both teams struggling to hold on to possession. There were 33 interceptions in the match with Nashville giving the ball away slightly more often, 17 times.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Jerry Ortiz, Penn FC – With few chances in the match Penn's Ortiz created two of his chances and managed an 86.7 percent passing accuracy rate.
Penn FC vs. North Carolina FC – April 28, 7p.m. ET, Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park
Nashville SC vs. New York Red Bulls II – May 6, 1p.m. ET, Red Bull Arena