Through its first seven matches this season away from Nissan Stadium, Nashville SC was unable to find a winner. Now, the Boys in Gold have done it twice in a row. Against a CF Montreal team eager to climb up the Eastern Conference table, Walker Zimmerman nodded home a free kick from Hany Mukhtar in the 67th minute, and made a crucial block in the 74th to help his team maintain the clean sheet and knock off the Quebecois 1-0 in the Great North.
Zimmerman’s two key plays underscored how important he is to Nashville SC – particularly when contrasted with the previous game against Montreal, when the Boys in Gold gave up a set-piece head to suffer a home draw.
The Impact* peppered Nashville’s net over the final 17 minutes, but only two shots made their way to Joe Willis – an attempt from Mustafa Kizza which resulted in the rebound that Zimmerman blocked, and and 86th-minute cross from Mathieu Choiníere that was on-target by mistake. Aníbal Godoy blocked a Sunusi Ibrahim attempt from long distance, and three other attempts from Montreal didn’t test the frame.
Against a solid Montreal side (albeit a short-handed one with defenders Kiki Struna and Rudy Camacho unavailable – though Nashville captain Dax McCarty was in the commentary booth rather than on the field, so both teams were hit by absences), the Boys in Gold were able to do the only thing that matters: score more than the opponent. There weren’t always style points on display, but Willis’s 10th clean sheet of the season is yet another sign of how dominant Nashville can be when hitting on all cylinders.
With the victory, Nashville moves to sole possession of second place in the Eastern Conference on 41 points. The Boys in Gold will continue their road swing through Canada next weekend, with a trip to Toronto’s BMO Field on deck next Saturday evening. The 6:30 p.m. contest – against a Toronto team with whom Nashville drew last time in Ontario – will provide another opportunity for Nashville to get revenge against a team that it feels it should have beaten last time around.
* yes i’m going to continue calling them that
- 41′ NSH Yellow card – 10 Hany Mukhtar (foul)
- 44′ MTL Yellow card – 19 Zorhan Bassong (foul)
- 45’+2 Half time
- HT NSH Substitution – On 20 Aníbal Godoy, off 22 Matt LaGrassa
- 58′ NSH Yellow card – 27 Tah Brian Anunga (foul)
- 61′ MTL Substitution – On 30 Romell Quioto, off 9 Bjørn Johnsen
- 64′ NSH Substitutions:
- On 12 Alistair Johnston, off 15 Eric Miller
- On 72 Aké Loba, off 14 Daniel Ríos
- 65′ MTL Substitution – On 12 Mustafa Kizza, off 15 Zachary Brault-Guillard
- 67′ NSH GOAL – 25 Walker Zimmerman (headed), assisted by 10 Hany Mukhtar (right-footed free kick)
- 73′ MTL Substitution – On 22 Sunusi Ibrahim, off 19 Zorhan Bassong
- 81′ NSH Substitution – ON 19 Alex Muyl, off 17 CJ Sapong
- 85′ NSH Yellow card – 1 Joe Willis (time wasting)
- 90’+1 NSH Substitution – On 7 Abu Danladi, off 10 Hany Mukhtar
- 90’+4 Full time