Nashville SC (6W-6L-6D, 24 pts.) put away three goals for the second match in a row to extend its home unbeaten streak to seven with the win over FC Dallas (6W-5L-6D, 24 pts.) on Tuesday night at Nissan Stadium, moving up to eighth place in the Eastern Conference with a five-point cushion above the playoff line.
On Friday, Nashville hosts New England Revolution at 7:30 p.m. CT. Nashville and the Revs played to a 0-0 draw in their first meeting this season on October 3 at Gillette Stadium.
Nashville opened scoring in the 19th minute when Leal dribbled toward the goal, ran a give-and-go with Derrick Jones and fired it into the lower-right corner of the net. Abu Danladi started at forward and caused problems: he saw a chance saved by goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer in the third minute after Alex Muyl sent him through on goal. Danladi also headed the second ball off of a corner kick towards the goal, but Dallas center-back Reto Ziegler headed it away before the ball could cross the goal line.
Nashville kept its eighth clean sheet of the year thanks to stellar play from the entire defensive unit. Deep-lying midfielders Dax McCarty and Aníbal Godoy combined to win two tackles and eight recoveries, while the center-back duo of Dave Romney and Walker Zimmerman did well to hold their position and cut out through balls intended for Dallas’ forwards. Left-back Dan Lovitz and right-back Alistair Johnston did well on both ends of the pitch. Lovitz assisted Cádiz’s goal and played a key pass, while Johnston and winger Alex Muyl worked tirelessly down the right flank to limit the Dallas attack and press their backline. Joe Willis kept up the form that has put him among the league-leaders in clean sheets, adding another to his tally.
In Nashville SC’s second match with fans back in the stadium, new Designated Player Jhonder Cádiz scored his first goal for the club to put the icing on the cake of an impressive win for the 2020 expansion side against an original MLS club. The Venezuelan international decided to shoot from distance nearly 30 yards from goal, and he left Maurer frozen as it took a slight deflection into the back of the net.
Nashville is undefeated in three matches against Dallas this season with a 2W-0L-1D record. The sides will meet one final time on Nov. 4 to close out their regular season series at Nissan Stadium.