Charlotte FC, Nashville SC settle for tie after second-half goals in stoppage time


Scott Arfield and Hany Mukhtar each scored in second-half stoppage time in a dramatic 1-1 draw between Charlotte FC and host Nashville SC on Saturday.

Arfield’s goal three minutes into extra time put Charlotte (7-9-10, 31 points) in position for a huge road victory. Arfield collected an Adilson Malanda headed pass in front of the box, and then blasted the shot home for his second goal in three matches with Charlotte FC.

However, Nashville (11-9-7, 40 points) wasn’t finished. Three minutes after Anfield’s goal, Lukas MacNaughton was knocked down in the box by defender Nathan Byrne, drawing a penalty kick for Nashville in the 98th minute of action.

Mukhtar made no mistake in burying the penalty for the equalizer. It was Mukhtar’s 14th goal of the season, and it snapped a streak of eight regular-season matches without a goal for the reigning MLS MVP.

Though Mukhtar’s tally salvaged a point for Nashville SC, the home side is still winless (0-4-2) in its last six matches.

For the second straight match, Charlotte FC led heading into the 88th minute only to come away with a single point. Charlotte is 1-3-7 in its last 11 matches, with the draws representing several missed chances to gain points and move above the playoff line.

The late goal allowed leaves Charlotte FC with three clean sheets this season, the fewest in MLS. Charlotte’s 43 goals allowed this season are among the most of any team in the league.

The extra-time scores quickly altered what had been a pretty quiet attacking game for both teams. Each club had 11 shots and Nashville led 5-2 in shots on target, with Mukhtar delivering three of those shots on goal.

Prior to his goal, Mukhtar’s best chance came in the 64th minute. His shot from within the box deflected off Jere Uronen, and goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina had to dive to just barely knock the ball wide of the post.

Charlotte held 62.1% of the possession in the match but didn’t create any sustained attacking momentum until the last 10 minutes of play.