COMMERCE CITY — Nashville SC wanted to make a good first impression on the Colorado Rapids.

They certainly managed to do that.

Nashville SC scored three times in the opening 17 minutes to stun the Rapids and end their 23-game regular season home unbeaten streak at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park with a 3-1 victory on Saturday night. It was the first time the two teams met since the Tennessee side joined MLS in 2018.

The last time Colorado lost at home was the 2021 home opener against Austin FC on May 8, 2021 — 385 days ago.

Nashville struck first in the eighth minute. After a free kick was initially cleared by the Rapids, the ball was recycled back into the box. U.S. Men’s National Team defender Walker Zimmerman got a flick on the ball and C.J. Sapong tapped it in to make it 1-0.

On the second goal in the 15th minute, Nashville took a quick restart after Diego Rubio received a yellow card for dissent. Daniel Lovitz found Hany Mukhtar, who dribbled past a pair of Rapids defenders and beat William Yarbrough with a shot to the upper roof of the net.

Nashville added a third tally just 90 seconds later. Luke Haakenson crossed in a ball and Mukhtar needed an inch of space as he got between Auston Trusty and Lalas Abubakar and headed it past Yarbrough for a 3-0 lead. Mukhtar has scored six goals in his last four games across all competitions.

After Nashville’s shocking start, the Rapids attempted to get back into the game. The best chance of the first half came from Rubio, who hit a low-driven shot wide of the goal. Other half-chances included an Anthony Markanich header that was saved. Colorado had one shot on target in the first half.

Once Nashville scored its third, Gary Smith, the former Rapids’ head coach who led the club to its only MLS Cup win in 2010, went back to an old staple of sitting in a low block. Near the end of the first half, Nashville had five players at the back.

In the second half, Michael Barrios subbed on at the interval and replaced Gyasi Zardes, who came in as questionable with a hamstring injury and missed last Sunday’s game against Seattle.



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