Nashville looked like they had secured another three points at home, leading Houston Dynamo 1-0 in the last minute of play.
Gary Smith made a trio of changes following Wednesday’s win over DC United, bringing back Randall Leal, Hany Mukhtar and Jalil Anibaba to the starting lineup.
After a slow opening to the match, Nashville eventually found their footing. Randall Leal looked like he had earned a penalty in the 22nd minute, but a late flag for offside from the assistant referee wiped the spot kick out.
Daniel Ríos put the ball in the back of the net eleven minutes later, but he was judged to be offside. Replays looked like he was level with the last man when the ball was played, but referee Rubiel Vazquez was apparently told by VAR not to check the review monitor, and the goal was disallowed.
At the halftime break, Derrick Jones came on for Nashville, replacing Alex Muyl. The big midfielder immediately made an impact, beating several Houston defenders and creating space for Nashville near the penalty area.
It was Jones who sparked the breakthrough for Nashville in the 49th minute. He won the ball high up the field and drove at the defense, before laying it off to a wide open Daniel Ríos. The striker had the easiest of finishes to put Nashville on the board, becoming the first Nashville SC player to score multiple goals in MLS this season.
Things took a turn for the worse less than ten minutes later. After stretching to reach the ball in Houston’s box, Ríos went down with an apparent groin injury, forcing Jones to fill in up top.
In th 90th minute, Houston pulled level. Goalkeeper Joe Willis came out ambitiously for a corner and missed, giving Maynor Figueroa and empty net in which to head the ball.
After a strong performance for 90 minutes and the potential to move into sixth place in the Eastern Conference, the draw leaves Nashville in ninth. The draw extends Nashville’s run to five matches unbeaten at Nissan Stadium.
After the match, Smith gave an update on Jhonder Cádiz. The striker was signed as a designated player on September 10, but has not entered the country.
“Cádiz has gone through all the paperwork,” said Smith. “I would be encouraged to see him on the ground next week. What day it is, I don’t know yet, but I would expect it to be next week.”
Ríos’s injury leaves Nashville without a healthy center forward on the roster. They’ll get a full week of rest before traveling to New England Revolution next Saturday.
Shots: Nashville 9 – 18 Houston
Shots on goal: Nashville 3 – 8 Houston
Expected goals: Nashville 1.14 – 1.57 Houston
Goals: Nashville 1 – 1 Houston
Possession: Nashville 42.1% – 57.9% Houston
Yellow Cards: Nashville 0 – 2 Houston
Red Cards: Nashville 0 – 0 Houston