Nashville beat Montréal in second-straight road win

Nashville SC kept their winning streak alive on Saturday night, beating CF Montréal 1-0 at the Stade Saputo courtesy of a Walker Zimmerman goal.

Lineup

With captain Dax McCarty suspended, head coach Gary Smith went with a pairing of Brian Anunga and Matt LaGrassa in midfield.

Walker Zimmerman was the lone player to start for Nashville after returning from the international break, while Aníbal Godoy and Alistair Johnston made appearances off the bench and Randall Leal was an unused substitute.

Run of play

Nashville tested Montréal early. CJ Sapong and Daniel Ríos had a couple of half chances nearly find the back of the net, and Hany Mukhtar continued to run the show from a slightly withdrawn position. Ríos saw a deflected shot skim the top of the crossbar, nearly opening the scoring for the visitors.

In the second half, Walker Zimmerman did just that. The reigning MLS Defender of the Year rose above the Montréal defense to nod home a Hany Mukhtar set piece for his first goal of the season. Just eight minutes later, Zimmerman stepped up at the other end of the field, making a spectacular sliding tackle to deny Sunusi Ibrahim what looked like a certain goal from close range.

Big picture

Nashville earned their second road win of the year, and the three points serve them well. They move into sole possession of second place in the Eastern Conference, three points clear of Orlando City. They’ve now won three straight matches, are unbeaten in their last five, and have lost just one of their last 15. It’s key in MLS to peak at the right time, and heading into the home stretch, Nashville look like they’re just now getting into gear.

Lineups

CF Montréal (3-4-2-1): Pantemis; Miller, Waterman, Bassong (Ibrahim 73′); Choiniere, Wanyama, Hamdi, Brault-Guillard (Kizza 65′); Mihailović, Torres; Johnsen (Quioto 61′)

Nashville SC (3-4-1-2): Willis; Romney, Zimmerman, Miller (Johnston 64′); Washington, Anunga, LaGrassa (Godoy 46′), Lovitz; Mukhtar (Danladi 90′); Ríos (Loba 65′), Sapong (Muyl 81′)

Stats

Possession: MTL 59% – 41% NSH
Shots: MTL 14 – 13 NSH
Shots on goal: MTL 3 – 8 NSH
Expected goals: MTL 0.73 – 0.93 NSH
Goals: MTL 0 – 1 NSH
Passes: MTL 477 – 303 NSH

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