Nashville SC’s Hany Mukhtar scored late into stoppage time from the penalty spot to rescue a point at home versus Charlotte FC. Disappointing night overall for Nashville that continues a troubling trend of now six matches in league play without a win.
Nashville SC started with a much stronger lineup on Saturday night compared to how they lined up against Inter Miami. Nashville SC Manager, Gary Smith, made four changes (Hany Mukhtar, Anibal Godoy, Sam Surridge, and Jacob Shaffelburg) all were back in the starting XI.
Even with a strong lineup from the very beginning of the match, Nashville never looked like they were clicking. It seemed the strong linkup between midfield to attack that has been present for so much of the season was just not there on Saturday night. This led to a very lackluster performance from the home side against a struggling Charlotte FC team.
90 minutes seemingly came and went without very little action from either side. That was until all mayhem broke loose in stoppage time with the score still 0-0. Charlotte FC would finally break the deadlock in the 93rd minute seemingly out of nothing. Charlotte’s substitute midfielder, Scott Arfield, from outside the box laced one into the back of the net. This brought extreme panic inside Geoids Park on just how bad this could affect Nashville’s standings in the Eastern Conference. Similarly to Charlotte, Nashville out of nowhere is gifted a penalty after sloppy defending led to McNaughton being fouled inside the box. As he always does, Mukhtar converted his penalty in the final kick of the game to secure a point.
Nashville SC for the remainder of the regular season is going to be under immense pressure especially at home to collect all three points. Coming into Saturday night’s match in 7th place, NSC was five points off third, but also only seven points from the cutoff line into the MLS playoffs. With teams like Inter Miami who are poised to steal a playoff spot, Nashville must give themselves a cushion for those final playoff spots, especially if they want to have any hope of having home games at Geodis Park once the postseason kicks off.
Patton Cook / WNSR Columnist
@Patton_Cook on Twitter