CHARLOTTE, NC – A Hany Mukhtar brace gave Nashville SC their second away win of the season, coming from behind to beat Charlotte FC 2-1.
Gary Smith made just one change to the team that beat Inter Miami CF on Wednesday night, giving Sean Davis the nod ahead of Aníbal Godoy.
On the pitch
Returning to Charlotte for the first time since their 4-1 loss last season, the club’s worst-ever loss as a professional team, things started out poorly for the visitors. Brandt Bronico opened the scoring after just six minutes, evading Dax McCarty, Lukas MacNaughton and Shaq Moore in the box before rolling his shot in at the near post.
Nashville bounced back quickly after the goal, controlling possession and putting pressure on Charlotte’s goal. Just before the halftime interval, Hany Mukhtar found the back of the net, snatching at a shot from outside the box and getting the assist from a healthy deflection.
After a first-half penalty shout was denied, Nashville got a favorable call at the death. After Mukhtar missed a golden opportunity on a breakaway, Jacob Shaffelburg went down under a challenge from Nathan Byrne and referee Rubiel Vazquez pointed to the spot.
The call appeared harsh. Mukhtar didn’t care. The defending MLS MVP made no mistake, slotting home for his eighth goal of the year to give Nashville their second win on the road in 2023.
The big picture
With the win, Nashville aren’t just unbeaten in eight matches. They’re up to second place in the Eastern Conference with 25 points, one ahead of New England Revolution. They have a quick turnaround, traveling to Ft. Lauderdale on Tuesday to take on Inter Miami CF in the US Open Cup Round of 16.
For Hany Mukhtar personally, he’s off to his hottest start to an MLS season. Through 14 matches he has eight goals and six assists, leading the league in goal contributions. Every season it’s asked if he’ll be able to maintain his form, and every season he continues to post historic numbers.