Nashville SC get back on track, topple Atlanta United

Fafa Picault scored in the first half and Teal Bunbury and Jacob Shaffelburg converted in the second as host Nashville SC snapped a three-match MLS winless rut with Saturday's 3-1 victory over Atlanta United.

Reigning MLS MVP Hany Mukhtar had two assists for Nashville SC, starting with Picault's tally via his corner in the 36th minute. A rebound of his shot led to Bunbury's goal in the 56th for Nashville SC (4-3-3, 15 points), who totaled two goals while going 0-1-2 in their three previous league matches.

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Despite playing without leading scorer Giorgos Giakoumakis (five goals) due to a hamstring issue, Atlanta (5-2-3, 18 points) had its chances. Down 2-0, Atlanta made things interesting when Thiago Almada's successful 72nd-minute penalty kick got the visitors within a goal.

However, Shaffelburg's surge ended by beating Atlanta goalkeeper Clement Diop to seal the win in the 91st minute with his third goal of the season.

Hany Mukhtar now has three goals and five assists for Nashville in 10 MLS games this season.
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Neither side wasted any time pushing the pace. Atlanta dominated possession for most of the first half and had the game's first true chance. That came during the 26th minute, when Matheus Rossetto's drive was saved by diving Nashville keeper Joe Willis.

The hosts nearly opened the scoring one minute later, however Picault's point-blank header went high over the bar. Picault would not miss at the back post less than 10 minutes later, when he easily put home Mukhtar's corner that also glanced off teammate Walker Zimmerman.

Then 11 minutes into the second half, Nashville SC extended their lead. Mukhtar pushed the ball on the wing, and the rebound of Diop's save of his shot went right to Bunbury to convert.

However, VAR overturned a non-penalty call on Nashville's Dax McCarty in the box on 69 minutes. That opened the door for Almada, on his 22nd birthday, to freeze Willis with a push from the spot.

Nashville SC are amid a 3-0-3 series stretch versus Atlanta, which was on a 2-0-2 run entering this contest.