NASHVILLE, TN – On a gorgeous spring afternoon at Geodis Park, Nashville SC cruised past Atlanta United, winning 3-1 in a game where Hany Mukhtar pulled the strings.
Dax McCarty sat at the base of a midfield diamond, with Fafà Picault and Hany Mukhtar switching positions around Teal Bunbury.
On the pitch
Atlanta dominated possession in the first half, but couldn’t convert a few half chances. Nashville, on the other hand, scored with their first shot on target. Hany Mukhtar’s corner found Walker Zimmerman at the near post, and the center back flicked it on to Fafà Picault for a tap in.
Nashville continued on the front foot after the halftime break, and again, Mukhtar was at the heart of it. The playmaker got on the end of a through ball from Alex Muyl, forcing goalkeeper Clement Diop into a save. The rebound fell to Teal Bunbury, though, and the striker found the net with a simple finish from point-blank range.
Atlanta pulled a goal back late in the second half. After video review, the visitors were awarded a penalty kick for a Dax McCarty foul in the box, and Thiago Almada calmly slotted home. But just as it seemed they might find an equalizer, Mukhtar broke into space and fed substitute Jacob Shaffelburg a perfect pass. The young Canadian capped off the win with a cool finish.
The big picture
The win pushes Nashville into fifth place in the Eastern Conference, with the rest of the league still to play on Saturday night. After a strong performance against LAFC last time out, they maintained their form with a comprehensive win over their rivals.
They’ll take on Chicago Fire at Geodis Park next Saturday, with a chance to close off their three match home stand with seven points.