Club America faced off against Nashville SC in a battle that went down to the wire. Despite a valiant effort from both sides, the match ended in a dramatic penalty shootout that saw Nashville SC advance. The match was arguably the most intense and bazar game seen so far in this Leagues Cup tournament. With two late goals both coming in the 90-minute of the match. A winning penalty save by Luis Malagon was called back by VAR after the referee blew the final whistle. A dramatic turn of events with Nashville then scoring the retake leading to their eventual win in the shootout. As the dust settled, Club America was left grappling with heartbreak, while Nashville SC celebrated their hard-fought triumph. In a game that had so many headlines, the three takeaways from this are Diego Valdes’s return, Club America’s self-destruction, dramatic penalty shootout.
Heartbreak for Club America: Nashville SC Prevails in Dramatic Penalty Shootout
Diego Valdes Sparks America’s Attack on Life:
After being dealt a hard blow in the attack with Henry Martin’s injury, it was a relief knowing Diego Valdes was fit to play. After missing the entire Leagues Cup games before this one, fans were excited to see him on the team sheet. It was evident that Valdes was the missing piece to this attack. When he came off the bench, he changed the face of the team. He was moving the ball creating opportunities. It was evident from the start that America where the superior side. Yet the attack in the final third was not clicking. Not until, in the second half, when manager Andre Jardine brought in Diego Valdes. His introduction to the game came at a perfect time after the team just conceded a goal. He eventually scored the leveller after heading the ball into the back of the net from a great cross from Kevin Alvarez.
— The Eagle Eye Podcast (@EagleEyePodcast) August 9, 2023
Drama Unfolds in the Penalty Shootout:
As the match progressed to the penalty shootout, the tension reached its high point. The penalty shootout served as the ultimate test of nerves and composure for both the teams and their fans. The spot-kick drama showcased the highs and lows of football, encapsulating the emotional rollercoaster that comes with such high-stakes clashes. But nothing would have prepared both sets of teams and fans for what happened at the end.
Club America and Nashville SC displayed incredible accuracy and nerve in their penalty-taking. Both sides only missed once from the penalty spot. When the game went to sudden death America scored their penalty putting the pressure on Nashville to convert. Jack Maher stepped up and his shot was saved by Malagon, the referee blew the whistle and the America players and fans began to celebrate. Then minutes later in what many say is a wild call to make, the referee gets a call from VAR to undo the decision and retake the penalty as Malagon was off his line when he made the save.
At that point, the stadium had erupted fans were on the pitch, and players were heading to the dressing room, it was a madhouse. In all of that, the referees had to bring players back on the pitch and have them retake the penalty. Baffled by the call America players were not happy but untimely went ahead with the retake. In his second attempt, Maher converted his penalty and the shootout continued. This didn’t last long after since Jonathan Dos Santos ended up missing his penalty serving up the win on a silver platter for Nashville. And win they did after Daniel Lovitz converted from the spot to give Nashville the win.
Club America’s Self-Inflicting Destruction:
Club America will no doubt want to blame the officials for the disaster in Nashville. But the truth is, no one is to blame but themselves. In a game in which they controlled most of the possession and space, they failed to close the game out. They failed really to manage the game to their benefit. America held possession of the ball for the entirety of the match and with the little bit of what Nashville was able to have they took advantage. Las Aguilas again were wasteful in front of the goal and couldn’t capitalize on sloppy mistakes at the back from Nashville. Players like Julian Quiñones again left much to be desired.
Nashville where dead in the water after a 90th-minute goal from the penalty spot sentence them to a 2-1 defeat. The game was there to be won with only five minutes of added time left to manage. The team was incapable of pulling together a smart approach to see the game out. In the last play of the match, America lost a ball in the midfield leaving themselves exposed. Which lead to Nashville’s counter that gave them the equalizer to force penalties. The criticism again falls to Andre Jardine for not planning the game accordingly and making a substitution that cost the team the game. Nestor Araujo was brought in at the very end to secure the win by parking the bus. Yet, it was he who lost his mark and cost the team the game.
— The Eagle Eye Podcast (@EagleEyePodcast) August 9, 2023
The Leagues Cup Round of 16 clash between Club America and Nashville SC will be remembered as a testament to the drama and unpredictability that football offers. The match, which ended in a nail-biting penalty shootout, showcased the tenacity, skill, and determination of both teams. While Club America will feel hard done by the referees they will need to have a long look at themselves. Nashville SC celebrated a memorable triumph that will forever be etched in its history. As the Leagues Cup journey continues for Nashville SC, Club America will return to Mexico City looking to shift focus on the league. Their next opponent will be Atlas in match day four of the Liga MX Apertura 2023.
— Club América EN (@ClubAmerica_EN) August 10, 2023
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