NASHVILLE, TN – Stop if you’ve heard this before: Hany Mukhtar scored another hat trick, and Nashville SC won at home. The 2022 Landon Donovan MLS MVP was transcendent against newcomers St. Louis CITY SC, turning the match on its head in the second half to extend Nashville’s unbeaten streak to 10 league matches, the longest in club history.
With Walker Zimmerman, Aníbal Godoy and Fafà Picault away on international duty, plus Lukas MacNaughon struggling with a groin injury, Nashville found themselves shorthanded.
Gary Smith recalled Laurence Wyke from his loan with Tampa Bay Rowdies, naming goalkeepers Ben Martino and Elliot Panicco to the bench.
On the pitch
St. Louis flew started aggressively, flying into tackles and causing Nashville problems with their high press. Despite this, Mukhtar found the opener just 11 minutes in, snatching at a shot on the edge of the box that flew through goalkeeper Roman Bürki’s hands.
After a denied penalty shout, St. Louis found the equalizer late in the half. Nicholas Gioacchini’s effort, seemingly bundled across the line by his arm, was upheld after video review.
In the second half, as has often been the case in Music City, Hany Mukhtar took over. The German attacker misplayed a pass to Jacob Shaffelburg, earning a penalty kick from what should have been a tap in on an empty net. Late in the match, after a St. Louis red card, he made it a hat trick, getting on the end of a gorgeous flick from Dax McCarty to blast home at the far post.
The big picture
Nashville are now 10 matches since their last loss. Hany Mukhtar has been dominant in those 10 matches, up to 13 goals and seven assists on the season and firmly at the front of the MVP race.
Nashville have also won seven matches at home, more than their total in all of 2022. Ahead of a difficult two road matches next week, three points at home was vital. They’re five behind FC Cincinnati and firmly in the Supporters’ Shield race.