The first time, Joe said no. On a second opportunity, he guessed right, but couldn’t save an LA Galaxy penalty.
Fortunately for Nashville SC and Joe Willis, Hany Mukhtar scored a penalty of his own, and the teams split points in a 1-1 draw at GEODIS Park. Both converted penalties – Mukhtar’s in the first half, and Riqui Puig’s for the Galaxy on the final kick of the match – came due to handballs in the box after lengthy video reviews. Nashville did get that crucial penalty save from Willis, denying Chicharito Hernandez in the 55th minute to maintain a lead for his team.
Unfortunately, the Galaxy’s second penalty (a cynic would say it wouldn’t have been given if Chicharito had converted his) not only cost Nashville two points in the table, it will also cost them Zimmerman’s presence in a now-crucial match at Austin FC next weekend. His second yellow card of the match – the first given early, protesting what he believed to be a Chicharito dive at the top of the box – saw him sent off, but miss no game action.
A contest without much other scoring action was decided from the spot, and will impact future matches, as well. Oddly, it was also a contest without much chippy play until the very late stages, and yet managed to see 10 yellow cards.
With the draw, Nashville temporarily climbs to No. 3 in the table, but with a game in-hand for FC Dallas and two for Minnesota United, could drop to fifth by the end of the evening. With next Saturday’s 8 p.m. kick in Austin beginning a finishing stretch that will see Nashville host Houston Dynamo and then travel to LAFC to close the regular season, Nashville’s in control of its own destiny only up to finishing sixth in the table – and will need some help (plenty of which is likely to arrive) to end up any higher than that.
- 22′ LA Yellow card – 4 Sega Coulibaly (foul)
- 27′ LA Yellow card – 6 Riqui Puig (dissent)
- 27′ LA Yellow card – Derrick Williams (handball in the box)
- 29′ NSH GOAL – 10 Hany Mukhtar (right-footed penalty kick to left side-netting), penalty earned by Mukhtar (free kick handled)
- 31′ NSH Yellow card – 25 Walker Zimmerman (dissent after fouling Chicharito at the top of the penalty area)
- 42′ NSH Yellow card – 4 Dave Romney (foul)
- 43′ LA Yellow card – 44 Raheem Edwards (dissent)
- 45’+2 NSH Yellow card – 8 Randall Leal (foul)
- 45’+5 Half time
- 58′ – NSH Substitutions –
- On 6 Dax McCarty, off 20 Aníbal Godoy
- On 12 Teal Bunbury, off 17 CJ Sapong
- 61′ LA Yellow card – 7 Victor Vazquez
- 64′ LA Substitutions –
- On 2 Julian Araujo, off 22 Martini Caceres
- On 10 Douglas Costa, off 7 Victor Vazquez
- 71′ LA Substitutions –
- On 11 Samuel Grandsir, off 9 Kevin Cabral
- On 77 Chase Gasper, off 44 Raheem Edwards
- 71′ NSH Substitutions –
- On 19 Alex Muyl, off 8 Randall Leal
- On 26 Luke Haakenson, off 14 Jacob Shaffelburg
- 78′ LA Substitution – On 99 Dejan Joveljic, off 3 Derrick Williams
- 81′ NSH substitution – On 5 Jack Maher, off 54 Sean Davis
- 84′ NSH Yellow card – 18 Shaq Moore (foul)
- 90’+7 NSH RED CARD – 26 Walker Zimmerman (second yellow, handball in the box)
- 90’+9 LAG GOAL – 6 Riqui Puig (right-footed penalty to upper-right corner)
- 90’+9 Full time