NASHVILLE – Getting Walker Zimmerman back was not the cure for all of Nashville SC’s woes in set-piece defense. The home team struck first, with CJ Sapong scoring his eight goal in the past 10 games, but conceded from a dead ball to settle for a 1-1 draw against Orlando City SC. On a rainy Nashville evening in front of a season-low 13,154 fans, a draw was ultiamtely a fair result.
CJ Sapong and Hany Mukhtar continued their hot run of form with a breakaway goal in the 23rd minute. Sapong jumped a passing lane in the defensive half of the pitch, and the duo pushed forward in a 2v2 situation. After an attempted slide took defender Antônio Carlos out of the play, Sapong took a pass from Mukhtar, spun at the top of the penalty area, and slotted onto the bottom corner with his weaker left foot.
Antônio Carlos would get his revenge in the second half. A foul at the top of the box gave Orlando City an enticing free-kick situation, and Mauricio Pereyra’s service found the Brazilian streaking into the six-yard box. He nodded back across the face of goal, beating Joe Willis to level the score.
In the 75th minute, striker Tesho Akindele beat Willis but rung the crossbar, keeping the game level. Nashville had its share of opportunities from headers over the next four minutes, but didn’t manage to put any attempts on frame, much less beat backup keeper Mason Stajduhar.
The draw moves Nashville to second in the East, jumping past a New York City FC side that will visit Nissan Stadium in two weeks’ time. Nashville has this weekend off, and will travel to Atlanta for its third game of the season against the rival Five Stripes Aug. 28. Both previous matches finished with 2-2 scorelines.
- 23′ NSH GOAL – 17 CJ Sapong (left foot, spinning), assisted by 10 Hany Mukhtar (right-footed pass on breakaway)
- 32′ NSH Yellow card – 5Jack Maher (time-wasting)
- 40′ ORL Yellow card – 24 Kyle Smith (foul)
- 45’+2 Half time
- 49′ ORL Yellow card – 6 Robin Jansson (foul)
- 58′ ORL GOAL – 25 Antônio Carlos (headed), assisted by 10 Mauricio Pereyra (right-footed free kick)
- 65′ NSH Yellow card – 27 Tah Brian Anunga (persistent infringement)
- 72′ NSH Substitutions:
- On 6 Dax McCarty, off 27 Tah Brian Anunga
- On 14 Daniel Ríos, off 8 Randall Leal
- 78′ ORL Yellow card – 25 Antônio Carlos (foul)
- 79′ NSH Substitutions:
- On 19 Alex Muyl, off 17 CJ Sapong
- On 23 Taylor Washington, off 5 Jack Maher
- 81′ NSH Yellow card – 6 Dax McCarty (foul)
- 83′ ORL Substitutions:
- On 9 Chris Mueller, off 10 Mauricio Pereyra
- On 15 Rodrigo Schlegel, off 19 Benji Michel
- 88′ NSH Substitution – On 72 Ake Loba, off 10 Hany Mukhtar
- 89′ ORL Substitutions:
- On 2 Ruan, off 13 Tesho Akindele
- On 3 Emmanuel Más, off 14 Silvester van der Water
- 90’+4 Full time