Joe Willis once again played the hero in Nashville SC’s 0-0 draw with D.C. United on Wednesday night at Audi Field. The Nashville goalkeeper earned his 13th clean sheet of the year to earn a vital point on the road.
Gary Smith was forced into a number of changes, with Randall Leal and Dan Lovitz missing due to injury and Alistair Johnston and Aníbal Godoy still returning from international duty.
DC nearly took the lead just three minutes in when Golden Boot leader Ola Kamara rattled the post. They came close again in the 65th minute. Russell Canouse found himself open at the back post on a set piece, and put a header from close range directly at Joe Willis, who made a solid save to keep the score level.
Hany Mukhtar and CJ Sapong struggled to impact the match until late in the second half, and Daniel Ríos dragged a shot just wide of the far post in Nashville’s best look of the night.
Nashville will argue they should have played up a man for the second half. Halftime substitute Joseph Mora was shown a yellow card just seconds after his introduction for an enthusiastic challenge on Eric Miller, but referee Ismail Elfath opted against further punishment.
While Nashville fans certainly are eager for more than a point, a point against a surging DC United side isn’t a bad result.
Philadelphia’s dramatic draw in Montreal means that Nashville maintain their two-point hold on second place. With a rare home match on the docket for Wednesday night, a win against Columbus is much-needed ahead of another lengthy road stretch.