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Nashville secures playoff spot with 6-3 win over Cincinnati

October 28, 2021 GMT
Nashville SC midfielder Randall Leal (8) traps the ball as FC Cincinnati defender Zico Bailey (16) defends in the first half of an MLS soccer match, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021, at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati.(Kareem Elagazzar/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)
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Nashville SC midfielder Randall Leal (8) traps the ball as FC Cincinnati defender Zico Bailey (16) defends in the first half of an MLS soccer match, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021, at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati.(Kareem Elagazzar/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)
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Nashville SC midfielder Randall Leal (8) traps the ball as FC Cincinnati defender Zico Bailey (16) defends in the first half of an MLS soccer match, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021, at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati.(Kareem Elagazzar/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)

CINCINNATI (AP) — C.J. Sapong and Randall Leal each scored two goals and Nashville beat Cincinnati 6-3 on Wednesday night to clinch a playoff spot.

Nashville (12-4-16) scored four straight goals in the second half to hand Cincinnati (4-20-8) its 10th straight loss.

Nashville scored three goals in nine minutes to take a 5-3 lead in the 80th minute. Sapong tied it at 3 in the 71st by redirecting Walker Zimmerman’s header of a free kick. Leal scored from distance in the 76th, and Aké Arnaud Loba won a one-on-one battle with goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer for his first MLS goal.

Sapong capped it in second-half stoppage time with a calm finish on a breakaway for his 12th goal of the season. Leal’s first goal came in first-half stoppage time.

Cincinnati had a 3-1 lead by the 32nd minute. It started with an own goal in the sixth minute and Brenner made it 2-0 in the 17th on a penalty kick. Brandon Vázquez scored for the third straight game.

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