Looking for points for their hopes of a late playoff push, Nashville SC was in dire need of a victory at home against New York Red Bulls II at First Tennessee Park.
However, the Boys in Gold could only muster a 1-1 draw in a match that saw an action-packed first half, but neither team could create any magic in the ensuing second half to separate themselves.
The first half might have been one of the wildest Nashville fans have witnessed all season. A careless mistake by Justin Davis to not clear the ball in the 5th minute out of Nashville’s own box led to a New York goal. Jared Stroud collected the dispossessed ball and put in a low cross, which Amando Moreno was able to capitalize on.
The Red Bulls almost doubled their delight a few minutes later, when a penalty was called on a questionable foul in the box from Taylor Washington.
Pickens was easily able to read the direction of Tom Barlow’s low shot to the left, however, and preserved the one-goal deficit.
The Red Bulls did themselves no favors moving forward. A very malicious slide tackle from Jose Aguinaga on Alan Winn led to a red card.
The Boys in Gold were able to capitalize on the opportunity, with the captain Michael Reed burying a low free kick in the 26th minute.
The two teams had their fair share of chances to close out the first half, but neither could really convert and separate themselves from one another.
Nashville came dangerously close to taking the lead in the 64th minute. Ropapa Mensah was able to beat a defender on the line near the goal. As he crossed the ball in, it took an awkward deflection off a Red Bull and was heading in toward goal. Hassan Ndam, despite banging it off the cross bar, was able to clear the ball off the line to save the Red Bulls from going down a goal.
Nashville SC also had a chance to win on a last second corner on a Justin Davis bicycle from a Michael Reed corner, but he was called offside.
The draw puts Nashville SC level with North Carolina FC and Ottawa Fury on points with 44, but both teams have the edge over the Boys in Gold in the standings due to them having more wins. It is also the final fixture in the month of September, a month in which Nashville was only able to produce one victory in six contests. New York remains one point behind Nashville with 43 points.
Nashville hopes to continue its push for the playoffs next Saturday at Richmond Kickers, with kickoff slated for 6 p.m.