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2021 Major League Soccer, Regular Season
  • Randall Leal (35')

Joe Willis adds to shutout string as Nashville SC tops Austin FC

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Leal chips in goal for Nashville (0:57)

Randall Leal shows off his touch with a nifty goal in the first half for Nashville SC vs. Austin FC. (0:57)

Randall Leal scored midway through the first half, and it was enough for goalkeeper Joe Willis as Nashville SC outlasted visiting Austin FC 1-0 on Sunday to remain one of just three undefeated teams in MLS.

Willis stopped one shot, which came early in the second half, to record his fourth straight clean sheet for Nashville. With the shutout, Nashville has gone 407 minutes minutes without allowing a goal. The last tally given up by Nashville came on April 24, in the 42nd minute of a 2-2 draw against CF Montreal.

Nashville jumped on top in the 35th minute as Leal took a crossing pass from Jhonder Cadiz from outside the penalty area on the right and bounced it past Austin goalkeeper Brad Stuver.

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Nashville earned advantages in shots (14-12), shots on target (6-1) and duels won (47-41), and Austin led in possession percentage (59.1 to 41.9 percent), total passes (477-335), passing accuracy (86.8 to 80 percent) and corners (10-1).

Austin's only real scoring chance of the first half came in the 14th minute when Cecilio Dominguez worked into the box and onto his right foot before uncorking a shot that missed the mark to the right.

The visitors pushed the action in the opening minutes of the second half, getting a shot on goal by Daniel Pereira and then another by Nick Lima in the immediately ensuing corner kick.

Austin looked as if it had netted the equalizer in the 73rd minute when Jared Stroud beat Willis low to the right corner. But the goal was disallowed after a review determined that Stroud was offside.

Austin dropped its third consecutive match. Sunday's match was its sixth straight on the road, as Austin starts its inaugural campaign on an eight-game trip away from home before opening Q2 Stadium on June 19 vs. San Jose.

Major League Soccer Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS
1 LAFC 17 +17 36
2 Austin FC 17 +12 31
3 Real Salt Lake 17 +1 29
4 FC Dallas 17 +7 26
5 Nashville SC 17 +3 26
6 LA Galaxy 16 +1 24
7 Seattle Sounders FC 16 +5 23
8 Portland Timbers 18 0 22
9 Houston Dynamo FC 17 0 21
10 Minnesota United FC 17 -1 21
11 Vancouver Whitecaps 17 -10 21
12 Colorado Rapids 16 -4 19
13 Sporting Kansas City 18 -16 16
14 San Jose Earthquakes 16 -9 15

Major League Soccer Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS
1 CF Montréal 17 +3 29
2 New York Red Bulls 18 +8 29
3 Philadelphia Union 17 +9 29
4 New York City FC 16 +14 28
5 Orlando City SC 17 -3 25
6 FC Cincinnati 17 -3 24
7 New England Revolution 17 +1 24
8 Inter Miami CF 16 -8 21
9 Columbus Crew 16 +2 21
10 Charlotte FC 18 -5 20
11 Atlanta United FC 16 0 19
12 Toronto FC 17 -8 18
13 Chicago Fire FC 17 -7 17
14 D.C. United 15 -9 14