Nashville stays unbeaten, beats expansion Austin FC 1-0

May 24, 2021 GMT
Nashville SC midfielder Randall Leal, left, celebrates with Jhonder Cadiz (99) after Leal scored against Austin FC during the first half of an MLS soccer match, Sunday, May 23, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Nashville SC midfielder Randall Leal, left, celebrates with Jhonder Cadiz (99) after Leal scored against Austin FC during the first half of an MLS soccer match, Sunday, May 23, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Nashville SC midfielder Randall Leal, left, celebrates with Jhonder Cadiz (99) after Leal scored against Austin FC during the first half of an MLS soccer match, Sunday, May 23, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
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Nashville SC midfielder Randall Leal, left, celebrates with Jhonder Cadiz (99) after Leal scored against Austin FC during the first half of an MLS soccer match, Sunday, May 23, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
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Nashville SC midfielder Randall Leal, left, celebrates with Jhonder Cadiz (99) after Leal scored against Austin FC during the first half of an MLS soccer match, Sunday, May 23, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Randall Leal scored in the 35th minute and Nashville beat expansion Austin FC 1-0 on Sunday night in the first meeting between the teams.

Joe Willis had his fourth straight shutout, with Nashville (2-0-4) not allowing a goal in 407 minutes. It is one of the three unbeaten MLS teams.

With 22,421 in attendance at Nissan Stadium, it was Nashville’s first near-full capacity match since its inaugural MLS opener on Feb. 29, 2020.

Leal’s goal began with Aníbal Godoy taking possession for Nashville at midfield and feeding Jhonder Cádiz up the right side. Cádiz curled a well-placed cross to Leal, whose volley was not cleanly struck but effective in beating goalkeeper Brad Stuver.

Jared Stroud put one in net for Austin FC (2-4-0) in the 73rd minute, but it was ruled offside after video review.

Austin defender Jhohan Romaña left the game in the 34th minute because of a right leg injury.

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