In the 17th minute, Teal Bunbury broke the deadlock. A long stretch of Nashville possession in the Vancouver defensive third looked to be broken… until a poor pass out led to a turnover and an unsettled attacking moment in favor of Nashville. Hany Mukhtar’s cross from the right side found Bunbury’s forehead. The son of former Canada International Alex Bunbury (the eighth most-capped player in CanMNT history) scored for the seventh time against the Caps, the team that has been victim to his scoring more than any other.
After Bunbury’s goal, the game leveled off. Vancouver had strong spells of possession, and pressed Nashville high up the pitch to force turnovers. A 28th-minute turnover against the Vancouver press forced a Willis save as Ryan Gauld couldn’t beat the keeper while dipping the quick shot below the crossbar.
As Nashville couldn’t add to its advantage, the field slowly began to tilt in favor of the visitors. Vancouver’s opportunities didn’t necessarily come fast and furious, but the Whitecaps were able to maintain sustained pressure in the attacking end. Beginning in the 77th minute, Nashville SC could hardly manage to get the ball out of its own end. An open shot for wingback Julian Gressel flashed wide of the post, and it looked like Nashville would get away with it.
In the 87th Nashville’s lack of final edge to put Vancouver away came back to haunt the Boys in Gold. A necessary professional foul from Jack Maher gave the visitors a free kick in a dangerous area, and left-footed service from Ryan Gauld found the thigh of Javain Brown, who leveled the match.
Nashville threw numbers forward in attempt to regain the lead, but a lefty strike from Hany Mukhtar was the penultimate kick of the game – and after a spell of time-wasting for Vancouver, Copy Cropper’s goal kick to put it back in play was all that separated the teams from the final whistle.
With the draw, Nashville maintained its hold on sixth place in the Western Conference. With a trip to Portland in the midweek and a return to GEODIS Park at the weekend, any margin for error has been chewed up, and continuing to drop results will see NSC drop from the playoff field.
- 17′ NSH GOAL – 12 Teal Bunbury (headed), assisted by 10 Hany Mukhtar (right-footed cross after turnover)
- 33′ VAN Yellow card – 6 Tristan Blackmon (professional foul)
- 45’+1 Half time
- 47′ VAN Yellow card – 33 Michael Baldisimo (professional foul)
- 52′ VAN Substitution – On 17 Leonard Owusu, off 33 Michael Baldisimo
- 56′ VAN Yellow card – 27 Ryan Raposo
- 61′ VAN Substitution on 87 Tosaint Ricketts, off 27 Ryan Raposo
- 62′ NSH Substitutions –
- On 5 Jack Maher, off 12 Teal Bunbury
- On 15 Eric Miller, off 18 Shaq Moore
- 75′ NSH Substitution – On 26 Luke Haakenson, off 8 Randall Leal
- 81′ VAN Substitution – On 8 Caio Alexandre off 4 Ranko Veselinović
- 85′ NSH Substitution – On 27 Brian Anunga, off 6 Dax McCarty
- 86′ NSH Yellow card – 5 Jack Maher (professional foul)
- 87′ VAN GOAL – 23 Javain Brown (right knee, from set piece), assisted by 25 Ryan Gauld (left-footed free kick)
- 90′ VAN Yellow card – 25 Ryan Gauld (time-wasting)
- 90’+6 VAN Yellow card – head coach Vanni Sartini (dissent)
- 90’+7 Full time