CHESTER, Pa. (Nov. 28, 2021) – Nashville SC ends yet another historic run in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs after falling to Philadelphia Union in a shootout to decide the Eastern Conference Semifinal match on Sunday night at Subaru Park.
Powering Through the Playoffs: In just its second year in the league, Nashville SC continues to make history as just the fourth team in the modern MLS expansion era to clinch a playoff berth in their first two seasons as an MLS franchise. Nashville SC saw the largest jump from year one to year two in the standings for a modern expansion team as it leapt from finishing seventh in the Eastern Conference in 2020 to finishing third in the Eastern Conference in 2021. With a First Round 3-1 victory over Orlando City SC, Nashville SC became the only team in the expansion era to win at least one playoff match in each of its first two years of existence. Tonight’s match marked the second consecutive year Nashville SC has advanced to the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Mukhtar’s Magic in the Playoffs: With his goal in the first half, Hany Mukhtar has recorded four-career MLS playoff goals in five appearances. He recorded the first brace in Nashville SC’s MLS Cup Playoff history in the First Round and was one of only two players to record a brace in the First Round, along with Portland Timbers’ Sebastian Blanco. Mukhtar finished the regular season leading the league in combined goals + assists with 28. Entering tonight’s competition, Mukhtar was tied for second among four MLS players for playoff goals.
No Strangers to Extra Time: Gary Smith’s Boys in Gold have seen three of their five playoff matches decided in extra time. Nashville SC won its second appearance in the 2020 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs against Toronto FC with an extra time goal from Daniel Ríos. Nashville SC then took the eventual champions, Columbus Crew, into extra time in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Tonight’s match marks the first time in franchise history Nashville SC has gone into penalty kicks to decide a match.
NSH 38’: Eric Miller receives a ball from Alistair Johnston and then sends in a cross for Hany Mukhtar to send into the back of the net off a diving header
PHI 45+2’: Daniel Gazdag receives the ball inside the box after a corner kick and slots it home past Joe Willis
SO: Jack Elliott converts his penalty kick
SO: Jack McGlynn converts his penalty kick
- Nashville SC owns a season record of 4W-5L-9D away and an all-time away record of 9W-11L-12D
- Nashville SC owns a season record of 9W-2L-2D when scoring first
- Three of Nashville SC’s five MLS Cup Playoff matches have been decided in extra time
- Nashville SC owns a 0W-1L-0D playoff record when the match is decided by penalty kicks
- Nashville SC owns a playoff record of 1W-2L-0D in matches decided in extra time or penalty kicks
- Nashville SC has scored eight goals in the MLS Cup Playoffs, with five different goal scorers
- Hany Mukhtar has scored four goals in Nashville SC’s five MLS Cup Playoff appearances
Nashville SC 1W-1L-0D vs. Philadelphia Union 2W-0L-0D
November 28, 2021 – Subaru Park
NSH: 1 (0)
PHI: 1 (2)
NSH: Hany Mukhtar 38’
PHI: Daniel Gazdag 45+2’
NSH: Randall Leal (caution) 90+5’
NSH: Joe Willis; Daniel Lovitz, Jack Maher, Alistair Johnston, Eric Miller (Jalil Anibaba 118’), Walker Zimmerman; Dax McCarty (C) (Brian Anunga 105’), Hany Mukhtar, Aníbal Godoy, Randall Leal (Alex Muyl 105’); CJ Sapong (Jhonder Cádiz 90’)
Unused Substitutes: Abu Danladi, Taylor Washington, Luke Haakenson, Bryan Meredith, Aké Loba
PHI: Andre Blake; Jake Elliott, Jakob Glesnes, Kai Wagner, Alvas Powell (Nathan Harriel 105’); Daniel Gazdag, Jose Martinez, Jamiro Monteiro (Jack McGlynn 105’), Alejandro Bedoya (C), Leon Falch (Sergio Santos 57’); Kacper Przybylko (Cory Burke 105’)
Unused Substitutes: Matt Freese, Stuart Findlay, Bueno, Ilson Jr., Paxton Aaronson
Referee: Allen Chapman
AR1: Ian Anderson
AR2: Cameron Blanchard
4th: Victor Rivas
VAR: Jorge Gonzalez
AVAR: Chris Elliott