NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It wasn’t pretty for Nashville SC, particularly early in the game against Club de Foot Montreal. While NSC was able to find space behind Montreal’s backline with some regularity, the final pass eluded the Boys in Gold. Meanwhile first-half strikes from Mason Toye and Zachary Brault-Guillard gave the visitors a 2-0 halftime lead.
Just like last week, though, Nashville SC was able to respond with two straight to salvage a draw in Nissan Stadium. Venezuelan striker Jhonder Cádiz bounced home a header from a Randall Leal cross in the 54th minute, and Hany Mukhtar slotted a rebound home with his weaker left foot in the 77th to give Nashville the draw.
Before the season, you’d certainly have expected a Nashville SC team scoring a pair of goals to be almost-assured of a win. For the second straight week, though, it was only enough to earn a comeback draw. After just four first-half shots (two of them on goal), the Boys in Gold poured on the pressure, with 14 shots accruing over 2.2 expected goals. The key going forward, of course, will be to avoid the slow starts. NSC would certainly prefer its scoring outbursts to be enough to earn wins, rather than claw back for draws.
A silver lining came in the form of NSC debuts for defender Dylan Nealis (traded from Inter Miami this offseason) and Luke Haakenson (who spent last year away from Nashville on loan with Charlotte Independence in the USL Championship). It was also the first start in Gold for winger Handwalla Bwana – after the young Kenyan had a strong substitute appearance a week ago.
The next chance to right the ship comes next Sunday against fellow 2020 expansion side Inter Miami CF. The visitors opened their sophomore campaign with a loss to Los Angeles Galaxy, and will attempt to bring the first points of the season back to South Florida with a contest in Philadelphia this evening.
- 2′ MTL Yellow card – 6 Samuel Piette (failure to retreat)
- 13′ MTL GOAL – 13 Mason Toye (right foot, outside the box) assisted by 30 Romell Quioto (square pass)
- 42′ MTL GOAL – 15 Zachary Brault-Guillard (right foot, edge of the penalty area, deflected), assisted by 6 Samuel Piette
- 45’+4 Half time
- 46′ NSH Substitution – On 19 Alex Muyl, off 70 Handwalla
- 48′ MTL Yellow card – 30 Romell Quioto (persistent infringement)
- 50′ NSH Yellow card – 20 Aníbal Godoy (foul)
- 54′ NSH GOAL – 99 Jhonder (headed, bounced in), assisted by 8 Randall Leal (right-footed cross)
- 56′ NSH Yellow card – 19 Alex Muyl (foul)
- 60′ MTL Substitution – On 11 Erik Hurtado, off 13 Mason Toye
- 63′ MTL Yellow card – 24 Aljaz Struna (foul)
- 71′ NSH Substitution – On 17 CJ Sapong, off 99 Jhonder
- 74′ MTL Substitution – On 9 Bjørn Johnsen, off 30 Romell Quioto
- 77′ NSH GOAL – 10 Hany Mukhtar (left foot to bottom corner, from rebound)
- 78′ NSH Substitution – On 27 Tah Bruan Anunga, off 20 Aníbal Godoy
- 84′ MTL Substitutions:
- On 19 Zorhan Bassong, off 6 Samuel Piette
- On 14 Amar Sejdic, off 12 Mustafa Kizza
- 90’+1 NSH Substitutions:
- On 26 Luke Haakenson, off 10 Hany Mukhtar
- On 18 Dylan Nealis, off 6 Dax McCarty
- 90’+4 Full time