The Columbus Crew improved to nine games unbeaten – and two straight clean sheets – on Saturday night when it was held to a scoreless draw with the New England Revolution at Lower.com Field. With the result, the Crew remains in sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
Given the Crew’s electric performances since the arrival of Juan “Cucho” Hernández, the matchup with New England seemed like another opportunity to showcase the Crew’s recent offensive prowess. And the Revs knew this, too, which is why they opted to play in a low block and settled for preventing the Crew from scoring rather than trying to generate attacking chances for themselves.
“Credit to New England they came in for a draw, they got a draw,” Crew head coach Caleb Porter said after the match. “Our guys are disappointed they didn't get three points. But you know, I think they know they played well. And I told them that and they really dominated the game. But you know, this is a team that in a game where we dominate, we want to win; we want to find that goal and we should have found at least one goal on the day because [of the] many good positions that we were in.”
Perhaps the home side’s best chance to score came in the 24th minute when Luis Díaz sent a looping cross toward the back post. There, Pedro Santos rifled a one-time volley to the opposite post, which was parried back into play. From there Lucas Zelarayán guided a header that was headed off the line by New England’s Henry Kessler.
Defensively, the Crew kept New England quiet and earned a second-straight clean sheet. On both occasions – the previous being the Hell is Real win over FC Cincinnati – the Columbus backline has been solid in preventing the opposition from generating any true goal-scoring threats.
“Two clean sheets in a row,” Porter said. “Again, you'll look at the positive, I can look at them as a lot, you know, this team is really blossoming, flourishing, showing a strong mentality. We're healthy. I'm not worried about the goals, we'll score goals. Sometimes in football, you know, you don't find a goal. And that's going to be disappointing for our group and myself when we don't because it wasn't like we weren't in good spots.
“We were just missing that little bit of extra precision. And so, we'll look at the film and we'll improve, go back to training ground like I said, you know and onto the next.”
With the draw, the Crew have 30 points from 21 games and remain in sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Up next is a road trip to newcomers Charlotte FC before hosting CF Montréal and New York City FC at Lower.com Field in early August.
“Of course, we wanted to score and especially at home,” goalkeeper Eloy Room said. “Today we were getting to good spots but we didn't kill the game. So, it still feels bad of course though, you want to get the three points, especially after last week's home game. But we’ll take the point and the clean sheet again, so that's the positive thing. You have to look back at the clips and learn from it. Overall, we're still unbeaten and we have to keep going.”
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