NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After a nearly three-hour lightning delay, Nashville SC and Atlanta United came out of the locker room blazing. The Boys in Gold opened the scoring five minutes after the teams retook the field, Atlanta United answered just two minutes later, and then Nashville retook the lead in the 32nd minute. It looked for much of the contest like that would be the game-winner, but Atlanta Unitied found the equalizer with just minutes to play, and the teams finished in a 2-2 draw.
The game started with a full-capacity crowd of 30,109, and while fewer than half of those made it through two hours and 53 minutes in the concourse with lightning in the area, those who stuck it out until the end were rewarded with an entertaining match.
CJ Sapong got the scoring started in the 24th minute, slamming home from he top of the six-yard box after Hany Mukhtar was able to time a run perfectly to get onto the end of a Jack Maher throughball. Atlanta would respond with Thiago Almada finishing the play after a blunder at the back by Joe Willis gave the Five Stripes the ball in prime position.
In the 32nd, Sapong would return the favor for Mukhtar, heading a cross from Jack Maher back across the face of goal for the German to finish on the doorstep with a header of his own.
The game devolved into a chippy affair from there, and with an abbreviated halftime following the delay, emotions carried straight through the break.
It was in the 88th that substitute Dom Dwyer would steal what had looked like a certain victory out from under Nashville’s feet. In a play reminiscent of Sapong’s goal, a pass over the top to fullback Brooks Lennon found a scrambling Nashville defense – and an open Dwyer at the back post. The former US International finished coolly and gave the teams the draw.
With the result, Nashville now sits fifth in the Western Conference – though most of the teams in their vicinity in the standings have just 12 games played compared to NSC’s 13. A midweek US Open Cup trip to Louisville and a game at Colorado Rapids next Saturday separate the team from a much-needed break over the early-June international window.
- 19′ Two hour and fifty-three minute lightning delay
- 24′ NSH GOAL – 17 CJ Sapong (left foot, first time), assisted by 10 Hany Mukhtar (square pass in transition) and 5 Jack Maher (throughball to Mukhtar)
- 26′ ATL GOAL – 8 Thiago Almada (right foot, first time) assisted by 10 Marcelino Moreno (square pass after turnover)
- 32′ NSH GOAL – 10 Hany Mukhtar (header on doorstep), assisted by 17 CJ Sapong (header across) and 5 Jack Maher (cross to Sapong)
- 33′ ATL Yellow card – 14 Franco Ibarra (professional foul)
- 45’+1 Half time
- HT ATL Substitution – On 2 Ronáld Hernandez, off 15 Andrew Gutman (injury)
- 59′ NSH Yellow card – 20 Aníbal Godoy (foul)
- 61′ NSH Substitution – On 6 Dax McCarty, off 20 Aníbal Godoy
- 72′ NSH Yellow card – 17 CJ Sapong (argument)
- 74′ ATL Substitutions –
- On 4 Dom Dwyer, off 14 Franco Ibarra
- On 32 George Campbell, off 3 Alex De John
- 80′ NSH Substitutions –
- On 9 Ake Loba, off 10 Hany Mukhtar
- On 11 Ethan Zubak, off 17 CJ Sapong
- 82′ NSH Yellow card – 19 Alex Muyl (time-wasting)
- 83′ NSH Yellow card – 11 Ethan Zubak (foul)
- 84′ ATL Substitution – On 20 Emerson Hyndman, off 9 Matheus Rossetto
- 88′ ATL GOAL – 4 Dom Dwyer (left footed on the doorstep), assisted by 11 Brooks Lennon (square pass) and 8 Thiago Almada (throughball).
- 90’+2 ATL Substitution – On 13 Amar Sejdić, off 10 Marcelino Moreno
- 90’+4 Full time