Recap: Nashville SC better against Columbus Crew, but still can’t hold onto lead

NASHVILLE, TN – Nashville SC bounced back from their 5-0 loss to LAFC last weekend to some extent, drawing 2-2 with Columbus Crew in a more cohesive, yet not fully complete performance.

The XI

With Shaq Moore suffering an injury in the final five minutes of training on Thursday and Tyler Boyd held out with a lingering groin issue, in addition to existing injuries and Joe Willis’s red card suspension, Gary Smith found himself without six starters against Columbus.

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Alex Muyl and Jacob Shaffelburg played as wingbacks in a back three, with Hany Mukhtar and Sam Surridge paired up front together.

On the pitch

Nashville had a decent amount of success with their press against the Crew. The visitors were still able to move the ball at will, but the Coyotes had a fair share of takeaways high up the field, and looked dangerous in transition. The Crew, though, opened the scoring. Jacob Shaffelburg was a step slow to read the run of Sean Zawadzki on a corner kick, and the midfielder was able to direct a simple header in at the far post.

Just before the break, though, Nashville roared back. Hany Mukhtar scored his first MLS goal since September 20, 2023, slotting home a simple finish after Patrick Schulte came for and missed a Shaffelburg cross.

In the ninth minute of stoppage time, Aníbal Godoy put Nashville ahead with an unforgettable strike, smashing a bicycle kick past Schulte in an early goal of the year contender.

Nashville went into the half on track for a much-needed home win, but Columbus got off to a much better start after the break. Jack Maher was late to a ball in the box just two minutes into the half, conceding a penalty that Diego Rossi smashed off the post. Maher was taken off later in the half after a series of sloppy passes, with Gary Smith remarking that “it was not a good night for him.”

After a glorious chance for Godoy to make the score 3-1 to Nashville went missing, Columbus pulled level in the 79th minute. Alex Muyl couldn’t slow down Yaw Yeboah’s run down the left side of the box, and the Ghanaian chipped in a perfect cross for substitute Marino Hinestroza to head home. It was the third-consecutive match at Geodis Park in which Nashville have let a lead slip.

Post-match quotes

Stats

Possession: NSH 35% – 65% CLB
Passes completed: NSH 237 – 526 CLB
Shots: NSH 10 – 12 CLB
Shots on goal: NSH 5 – 4 CLB
Expected goals: NSH 1.04 – 1.65 CLB
Goals: NSH 2 – 2 CLB
Fouls: NSH 16 – 9 CLB
Yellow cards: NSH 3 – 1 CLB
Red cards: NSH 0 – 0 CLB

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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