Nashville SC had plenty of chances, but couldn’t find a finishing touch in a 0-0 draw against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night at GEODIS Park.
Gary Smith was forced into several changes to his squad. Walker Zimmerman and Anibal Godoy both missed out while on international duty. Randall Leal, Teal Bunbury and Handwalla Bwana were all injured, and Dave Romney was a late scratch as he entered the league’s health and safety protocols late in the week.
Nashville only named five field players to the bench, naming two reserve goalkeepers to the squad.
On the pitch
Despite the limited options, Nashville were the better side from the run of play. Hany Mukhtar was dangerous on the break as always, creating several chances for CJ Sapong and nearly scoring a handful of his own. He tested Quakes’ goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski on multiple occasions, including with a shot that flashed inches wide of the post with the last kick of the first half.
The second half was more of the same, with Nashville unable to convert. Ake Loba put in a solid 30 minute shift off the bench, but it was Brian Anunga who nearly found a winner. In second half stoppage time, the substitute midfielder struck a rocket of a volley past the far post. The angle of the strike fooled half the 28,672 fans into thinking he’d scored a world-class late winner, but a breakthrough never came.