Nashville SC's goal late in the second half was enough to put FC Dallas away, 2-1, as Nashville extended its unbeaten streak to eight games Saturday night at Toyota Stadium in Dallas.
Hany Mukhtar of Nashville broke a 1-1 tie in the 77th minute beating a pair of Dallas defenders after a lofting pass from defender Daniel Lovitz. Mukhtar settled the pass with his chest and side-stepped Dallas' Nkosi Tafari and José Antonio Martínez who collided leaving Mukhtar alone with the keeper. Mukhtar stuck the goal for eventual game-winner.
It was 10th goal of the season for Mukhtar and the seventh since the start of May. Nashville (9-3-4, 31 points) hasn't lost since April 15. Nashville improved to 6-0-2 in its last eight games.
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"Honestly, there should be enjoyment and elation from the group that they've won an away game, or won any game," Nashville coach Gary Smith said. "But there's also the humbling side to it. The league, our position, postseason ... none of that is going to be decided until much later in the season. The things that need to keep being reinforced after 24 or 48 hours of enjoyment is to keep your feet firmly on the ground."
It's also the fifth straight game that SC has scored multiple goals. Nashville remains in second place in the Eastern Conference, eight points behind Cincinnati.
"We've got a group of guys that want more of that," Smith said. "It's not enough to just win (Saturday). They want more of it and they can see success in front of them. This is a fabulous opportunity for them to show that."
Nashville grabbed control early, dominating play on its half of the field. The Boys in Blue advanced its attack in the ninth minute when Shaq Moore drove a cross toward the Dallas net. But FC's Nolan Norris tried to head the ball wide of the net. Instead it slipped just inside the left cross bar for an own goal to give Nashville a 1-0 lead.
Dallas (6-5-5, 23 points) made up for the mistake in the 25th minute with some deft passing. Facundo Quignon slipped a pass just outside the box to Marco Farfan on the left side. His cross in front of goal found the feet of Jader O'Brian who promptly put it away for a 1-1 tie.
"Obviously it was a great result (Saturday)," Lovitz said. "We're very disappointed about the goal we conceded because we're in the business of clean sheets, not just defensively, but as a whole team so that's something that we have to look at and learn from and move forward and we want to be winning that game 2-0 or 3-0."
Nashville dodged a potential deficit in the 32nd minute after centerback, and team captain, Walker Zimmerman gave the ball away at midfield, leaving SC exposed. A 2-on-1 counterattack for Dallas was thwarted when Nashville centerback Jack Maher poked the ball away just as Dallas attempted a shot.
Zimmerman played in his second game after missing the month of May with a lower body injury. He played a little over 57 minutes as he works his way back to 90-minute shape. Nashville's defense weathered Dallas' seven shots inside the box. Only three of those were on target as SC's keeper Joe Willis has two saves.
"The one thing that is a real driving force is the way Cincinnati is playing," Smith said. "They are absolutely flying. If we want to be a part of the equation or the shakeup in that top four and even to threaten (Cincinnati), we've got to keep playing to a very high standard. They are the standard bearers right now."
This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Nashville SC knocks off FC Dallas, 2-1, to extend unbeaten streak