Recap: Nashville SC grind out late win against shorthanded Toronto FC

NASHVILLE, TN – Nashville SC left it late, but managed to grind out a 2-0 win over Toronto FC after a frustrating evening.

The XI

Gary Smith had the most healthy roster he’s had since the start of the season.

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Walker Zimmerman started in the back after being rested against Charlotte, while Tyler Boyd and Shaq Moore both were available off the bench.

On the pitch

Against a Toronto side missing several starters, Nashville struggled to create consistent chances. Toronto’s low block limited space in the middle, and the lack of ideas apart from crossing the ball in was painfully evident.

With a pair of changes at halftime, Nashville began to gain some ground, although they never looked like the full-strength home side against a short-handed team. It was only in the final 10 minutes that Nashville snuck ahead; first a scuffed finish from Shaq Moore, followed by a stoppage-time counter attack from Teal Bunbury to ice the game.

The big picture

It was only a marginal improvement on last weekend’s 1-0 loss in Charlotte from Nashville. They managed just six total shots at home, and although the two goals ended up being enough, the attacking performance was far from inspired.

Smith’s seat has grown hotter in recent weeks, but the late goals may be enough to buy him some time. Nashville are still in the playoff hunt, and the win moves them level with Philadelphia Union in ninth place (behind on tie-breakers). The result of their home match against Atlanta on Saturday will go a long way toward determining their next steps.

Stats

Possession: NSH 57% – 43% TOR
Passes completed: NSH 553 – 402 TOR
Shots: NSH 6 – 7 TOR
Shots on goal: NSH 3 – 3 TOR
Penalty kicks: NSH 0 – 0 TOR
Expected goals: NSH 1.06 – 0.57 TOR
Goals: NSH 2 – 0 TOR
Fouls: NSH 5 – 10 TOR
Yellow cards: NSH 2 – 1 TOR
Red cards: NSH 0 – 0 TOR

Author: Ben Wrightis the Director of Soccer Content and a Senior MLS Contributor for Broadway Sports covering Nashville SC and the US National Team. Previously Ben was the editor and a founder of Speedway Soccer, where he has covered Nashville SC and their time in USL before journeying to Major League Soccer since 2018. Raised in Louisville, KY Ben grew up playing before a knee injury ended his competitive career. When he is not talking soccer he is probably producing music, drinking coffee or hanging out with his wife and kids. Mastodon

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