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Red Bulls cruise to home win over Nashville SC as Fábio scores his first MLS goal

Fabio #9 of New York Red Bulls handles

Fabio #9 of New York Red Bulls handles the ball defended by Samuel Grandsir #11 of Los Angeles Galaxy during the first half at Dignity Health Sports Park on April 25, 2021 in Carson, California.  Credit: Getty Images/Meg Oliphant

Some transactions take a fair amount of time to pay off for a club. Others never do.

The Red Bulls saw a return on their recent loan extension of Brazilian forward Fábio virtually immediately.

Retained through the remainder of the season after a solid, yet goalless, start to his tenure in Major League Soccer, the 24-year-old from Oeste in Brazil opened his Red Bulls scoring account in impressive fashion, banking in the match’s first goal late in the first half. Kyle Duncan added a long finish of his own in the second half to lift the Red Bulls to a 2-0 win over Nashville SC at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.

In the first ever match between the clubs, RBNY (4-0-4, 12 points) picked up all three points at home following a long international break, handing Nashville (2-5-1, 11 points) its first loss of the season. The win gave the Red Bulls four straight home victories to start the campaign. Fábio's strike in the 37th minute was the first Red Bulls goal by a true forward this season.

"Fábio, I think today was very good for him," said Red Bulls coach Gerhard Struber. "He scored and this gives him a big, big conviction for the next big games. And for the whole team, I think it was a good feeling that our strikers make a very good job and in the end they help us with the right goals at the right time."

Despite some exciting action in midfield, it took a while for either team to get a real chance offensively. Both teams were unable to put anything on target for the opening 36 minutes, but in minute 37, Fábio did so spectacularly. After fellow striker Patryk Klimala chipped a ball high into the box while falling to the ground, Fábio ran into position and volleyed with the outside of his right foot into the far post, bouncing it hard off the frame and into the net for the opening score.

Duncan added his score in the 56th minute. After Caden Clark reversed the play with a long pass to Duncan on the right near midfield, the Brooklyn native pushed upfield, cut back inside and put the ball on his weaker left foot, firing low through the Nashville defense and past keeper Joe Willis.

Nashville SC, featuring former Red Bulls Dax McCarty and Alex Muyl, had its chances in the second half, but rarely looked poised to make a game of it after Duncan’s goal. RBNY keeper Carlos Coronel wasn’t tested often, making just one save. The closest call came when Hany Mukhtar nearly made it a game again with a 73rd minute free kick, hitting the woodwork instead.

After plenty of time to prepare for Nashville during the international break, the Red Bulls won’t have much to get ready for their next outing — a Wednesday night trip to Foxborough to face the first-place New England Revolution.

New York Sports