Orlando draws Nashville SC

Antonio Carlos scored the equalizer just before the hour mark, and visiting Orlando City SC managed a 1-1 draw with Nashville SC.

Nashville (7-2-11, 32 points) opened the scoring in the 23rd minute when the sizzling C.J. Sapong intercepted an Orlando pass, then went two-on-one with teammate Hany Mukhtar.

The veteran Sapong (nine goals in 2021) finished the play with a brilliant left-footer for his fourth goal in the last three overall matches, and sixth in four at home, where Nashville is 7-0-6 this year.

Nashville had won its previous three home contests.

Orlando (8-4-7, 31 points) leveled the match in the 58th minute via a free kick. Off the set piece from Mauricio Pereyra, Carlos positioned himself perfectly to head the ball home. Though Orlando is amid an 0-2-3 road stretch, it is 1-0-3 during its past four overall.

Nashville pressed early, but it was Orlando that generated the first true chance in the 11th minute. Silvester van der Water got a quality look, but his curl through traffic was pushed away by Nashville keeper Joe Willis.

Orlando goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar punched away Brian Anunga’s strike at 16 minutes. Eventually, Sapong and Mukhtar did their magic, with the former coming through for the night’s first goal.

Tesho Akindele nearly leveled the match for Orlando in the final seconds of the first half. However, his point-blank header was stopped by Willis.

After Orlando equalized, Akindele almost put the visitors ahead, but his wide-open header hit the crossbar in the 75th minute. It was six minutes later that Nashville also hit woodwork, this time via Dave Romney.

Mukhtar has an assist in three straight overall matches for Nashville. He has recorded five assists in his past five home contests.