Nashville SC will look to continue its mastery of visiting CF Montreal on Saturday.
The Music are coming off a scoreless draw against the host New York Red Bulls on Saturday, while Montreal gave up the lone goal in the final minutes of a 1-0 setback at FC Austin that day.
Nashville, which is in its fourth season, is undefeated against Montreal in five all-time matches, sporting a 3-0-2 record after a 2-1 win at home last season.
The Music came close to leaving Harrison, N.J., with a win against the Red Bulls.
Hany Mukhtar — the league’s reigning MVP and Golden Boot winner — came off the bench for the second straight game due to hip tightness and almost paid huge dividends in the 69th minute.
Mukhtar delivered a pass between defenders to Alex Muyl, who deposited it into the back of the net, only for the goal to be disallowed when Muyl was flagged for being offside.
Nashville goalkeeper Joe Willis made just three saves to earn his 51st career shutout.
The Music possessed the ball for just 42.1 percent of the game and none of their five shots were on target.
Nashville completed 57.1 percent of their 301 passes and had four players — defenders Taylor Washington and Walker Zimmerman along with midfielders Brian Anunga and Dax McCarty — pick up yellow cards.
“Both sides tried their best, I think, to offer a more creative look in a more thoughtful manner,” Nashville coach Gary Smith said. “But it doesn’t happen very often against this group. Multiple fouls, multiple stoppages. People don’t get away because they get pulled over and the game stops. It’s all part of (the Red Bulls’) plan. So to come here and get a point, (I’m) very, very pleased.”
Montreal was close to picking up its first point of the season until Austin’s Maxi Urruti volleyed Jon Gallagher’s header past goalie Jonathan Sirois from just a few feet away in the 88th minute.
Montreal maintained possession for 44.6 percent of the match and had nine shots, but just two were on target. It also completed nearly 80 percent of its 354 passes.
“As long as we create scoring opportunities, I am not worried,” CF Montreal coach Hernan Losada said. “I’m disappointed about the late goal, but I have to give Austin credit. They have a good roster.
“It was about keeping that focus until the end. I believe in moments we played a great game against a hard opponent. We improved compared to our first games against Inter Miami. There are a lot of positives and very good individual performances.”
Montreal and Charlotte FC are the lone Eastern Conference teams without a point through their first two games, and Montreal and the Red Bulls are the conference’s only squads that have yet to score.
“I believe we deserve a lot more than zero points and zero goals after two games,” Losada said. “But it’s not about deserving, we have to go out there and make it happen.”
–Field Level Media
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