NASHVILLE – It was… not a typical match. Dual red cards for Nashville Dax McCarty and New York City FC’s Maxi Moralez, three Nashville SC goals before New York City FC got a late consolation answer, and ultimately a 3-1 NSC victory that gives the Boys in Gold the inside track on finishing second in MLS’s Eastern Conference.
A longball from McCarty to Hany Mukhtar saw the German open the scoring in the 32nd minute, and Daniel Ríos’s cross was deflected into the net by NYC rookie Vuk Latinovich just two minutes later to double the lead.
That’s when things got weird. Nashville’s Taylor Washington took multiple hard fouls in the defensive third of the field, and after the second, Moralez stepped in and took the drop-ball restart away from McCarty. McCarty answered with a hard foul on Moralez, who held on to the veteran’s foot. Then Moralez popped to his feet, and grabbed McCarty around the throat, beginning a bench-clearing brawl. When the dust settled, the two who started the fight were the only two punished, both sent off leaving a 10v10 battle for the second half.
Mukhtar would double his pleasure (after also putting the ball in the back of the net on a play where he was correctly adjudicated well offside) in the 68th minute. A Nashville break down the wing saw CJ Sapong get onto the end of a longball, and his first-touch service to Mukhtar was rewarded with a slick finish to the far post.
New York City would salvage a bit of dignity in the 90th, with a dinked ball from Alfredo Morales finding Taty Castellanos’s perfectly-timed run. That would be the last effort from the Pigeons, however, and the 3-1 score was ultimately a fair one – even if the run of play in the match was not always fair itself.
With the victory, Nashville moves into sole possession of second place in the Eastern Conference for at least one day – Orlando City can move back ahead with a win over Columbus this weekend – and puts itself out of reach for an NYCFC team that had been one of the most-impressive in the league over the past several weeks. Nashville will next travel to Canada for a Sept. 11 contest against CF Montreal.
- 30′ NSH GOAL – 10 Hany Mukhtar (right-footed, top of the box), assisted by 6 Dax McCarty (long ball)
- 32′ NSH GOAL – 32 Vuk Latinovich (own goal), forced by 14 Daniel Ríos (cross from edge of the six-yard box)
- 38′ NYC Yellow card – 19 Jesús Medina (foul)
- 45′ NSH RED CARD – 6 Dax McCarty (violent conduct)
- 45′ NYC RED CARD – 10 Maxi Moralez (violent conduct)
- 45’+6 Half time
- HT NSH Substitution – On 19 Alex Muyl, off 14 Daniel Ríos
- 68′ NSH GOAL 10 Hany Mukhtar (right footed), assisted by 17 CJ Sapong (first-touch throughball)
- 71′ NSH Yellow card – 19 Alex Muyl
- 72′ NYC Substitutions:
- On 43 Talles Magno, off 42 Santiago Rodríguez
- On 8 Thiago Andrade, off 19 Jesús Medina
- 73′ NYC Yellow card – 26 Nicolás Acevedo (other reason)
- 73′ NSH Yellow card – 10 Hany Mukhtar (other reason)
- 74′ NYC Substitutions:
- On 2 Chris Gloster, off 12 Malte Amundsen
- On 23 Gedion Zelalem, off 26 Nicolás Acevedo
- 79′ NSH Substitution – On 72 Aké Loba, off 17 CJ Sapong
- 84′ NSH Substitutions:
- On 99 Jhonder Cádiz, off 10 Hany Mukhtar
- On 22 Matt LaGrassa, off 27 Brian Anunga
- 88′ NSH Substitution – On 26 Luke Haakenson, off 23 Taylor Washington
- 89′ NSH Yellow card – 26 Luke Haakenson (time wasting)
- 90′ NYC GOAL – 11 Taty Castellanos (right-footed), assisted by 7 Alfredo Morales (chipped throughball)
- 90’+4 Full time