Nashville SC faced off against one of the best teams MLS has to offer, LAFC, and showed they have what it takes to go toe to toe with the top teams in Major League Soccer. The two teams shared a point after quite an entertaining game which had Hany Mukhtar scoring his third goal of the season in the first half and Denis Bouanga for LAFC grabbing the game tying goal in the second.
The first half can really be split up into three different spells. For the around the first 20 minutes, Nashville SC had the majority of the possession, but nothing concrete in terms of chances. The next 10 minutes saw LAFC really finding their groove in the game with a high press that seemed to overwhelm Nashville. In the last 10 minutes of the first half, Nashville really kicked it into gear and was solely led by their starman, Hany Mukhtar. The ball somehow found Mukhtar after it deflected into his path right at the six yard box and he slotted it home.
The big question heading into the second 45 was how was Gary Smith’s side going to setup. They set up knowing that if they wanted to win the game, one goal was not going to be enough, and it certainly wasn’t. They seemed more open at the back compared to the first half due in large part to Nashville’s star studded defender, Walker Zimmerman, being subbed in the 55th min. This situation will definitely be closely monitored as Gary Smith mentioned after the match that Zimmerman felt a bit of discomfort in the locker room at the halftime break. Knowing Zimmerman played 90 minutes less than 72 hours before for the USMNT, this isn’t the most shocking injury. LA finally found the back of the net thanks to their striker Denis Bouanga as he rifled one home from outside the 18 yard box. It seemed after that goal and the substitution of Walker Zimmerman, Nashville was more than happy to grind out a draw against LA.
Nashville will be back in action and at home twice over the next seven days as they take on San Antonio FC on Wednesday in the US Open Cup and their rival Atlanta United at home on Saturday.
Patton Cook / WNSR Nashville SC Reporter