It was a quiet night in Major League Soccer with just two games on the schedule. Playoff implications were nonetheless at the forefront on Tuesday evening, with Nashville SC picking up a crucial win over the Montreal Impact while the Vancouver Whitecaps lost to the Seattle Sounders.
Nashville SC relied on its resolute defense to overcome the Montreal Impact, with Randall Leal’s first-half strike handing the MLS newcomers the three points. The Chicago Fire and Inter Miami will be eager to pounce on the Impact’s defeat, as they currently trail the Canadian outfit by two points for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with games in hand.
The Sounders overcame a resurgent Whitecaps side with two quickfire second-half goals, extending their lead over Sporting Kansas City atop the Western Conference. Raúl Ruidíaz netted his 10th goal of the season and set up Nicolás Lodeiro shortly thereafter to put the tie to bed.
Here is a closer look at Tuesday’s MLS action:
Nashville SC 1, Impact 0
Man of the match
Walker Zimmerman did not put a foot wrong against the Montreal Impact, leading Nashville SC to its league-leading tenth clean sheet this season. The expansion side jumped into seventh place with the win, boosting their post-season hopes significantly.
Moment of the match
Alex Muyl’s decision to take the freekick quickly and play Leal through on goal caught the Impact off guard and ultimately proved to be the difference for Gary Smith’s men.
Match to forget
Victor Wanyama has not been at his best in recent weeks and was caught sleeping on Nashville’s opener, rather than getting in front of the ball. The midfielder will need to turn it around ahead of the Impact’s two final games.
Whitecaps 0, Sounders 2
(Ruidíaz 54′, Lodeiro 60′)
Man of the Match
Ruidíaz put in an all-action display against the Whitecaps, scoring the winner with great aplomb past an onrushing Evan Bush. The Peruvian was at the heart of the action just five minutes later, teeing up Lodeiro for the insurance goal.
Moment of the Match
Video review intervened for the Sounders’ first goal after Ruidíaz was initially ruled offside on the play. The decision was quickly overturned, handing the Peruvian the crucial, match-winning strike.
Match to forget
The Whitecaps needed inspiration off the bench and introduced Lucas Cavallini into the action. Rather than leading the line, the Canadian international cut a frustrated figure, earning his seventh yellow card of the season for a poor tackle.