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2021 Major League Soccer, Regular Season
  • Hany Mukhtar (77')
  • Lucas Zelarayán (75')

Hany Mukhtar's late tally forges Nashville tie against Crew

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Mukhtar's late goal earns Nashville draw vs. Columbus (1:57)

Hany Mukhtar's goal helps Nashville to its fifth-straight draw. (1:57)

Hany Mukhtar's late goal gave Nashville SC their fifth straight tie, 1-1 against the visiting Columbus Crew on Wednesday.

He made it 1-1 for Nashville (11-3-16, 49 points) in the 77th minute, two minutes after Lucas Zelarayan had given the Crew (10-12-8, 38 points) the lead.

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The Crew moved to within three points of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with four matches left. The defending MLS Cup champions host the New York Red Bulls on Saturday. New York has 40 points.

Nashville is second, three points ahead of Philadelphia and Orlando, and play at Philadelphia on Saturday.

Zelarayan's eighth goal was his first in nine games to complete the counter. Miguel Berry scooted down the left flank and found Pedro Santos in the middle. He drew attention then deftly passed to his right to Zelarayan.

The Crew barely had time to celebrate when Daniel Rios sent a cross from the right side to Mukhtar, who settled a left-footed first touch to his right foot for his 14th goal of the season.

Eloy Room kept game level by making a diving stop to his right on a screened shot by Rios in the 82nd minute.

With an 8-0-8 home record, Nashville has one more match there to become the seventh team in MLS history to go through the regular season unbeaten at home.

Nashville is also within two matches of equaling the league mark of 18 ties set by the Chicago Fire in 2014.

Crew leading scorer Gyasi Zardes (nine goals) left the game at halftime due to a left leg injury in the 39th minute when he and Nashville defender Walker Zimmerman collided during Zardes' shot attempt. Berry replaced Zardes.

The Crew announced earlier in the day that head coach Caleb Porter would be unavailable for the game after entering into MLS Health and Safety Protocol. Assistant coach Ezra Hendrickson was acting head coach.