The New England Revolution had their chances, but in the end were unable to claim three points from the Columbus Crew at Gillette Stadium on Saturday night. Both the Revs and the Crew put the ball on frame several times, but as the match wore on it degraded into an ugly slugfest with no goals and little excitement.
"The key is that we fought hard," said Matt Reis, who racked up his third shutout of the season. "We didn't give anything away. There's going to be games like that."
New England managed some early chances but failed to convert. Benny Feilhaber and Jose Moreno were the most obvious culprits, with Fernando Cardenas and Saer Sene also finding chances denied by both Andy Gruenebaum and the crossbar.
The match would end up a tale of two halves, however, as after trading blows with the Crew early in the first period, both teams came out after the interval and proceeded to play a brand of ugly, direct soccer that showcased defensive brilliance but little else.
"Columbus made it tough for us," said Benny Feilhaber, who missed a glorious chance inside the first minute to put the Revs ahead. "Our goals were there in the first half. The second half was a lot tougher. There weren't too many chances."
Also notable from the match was an incident involving Jose Moreno. The Colombian forward received a yellow card in the 43rd minute after engaging in a shoving match with Crew defenders Josh Williams and Nemanja Vukovic. Moreno would leave the match at the half with what head coach Jay Heaps characterized as "an ankle sprain and a pretty good kick."
The Revolution players still found positives in the performance. As mentioned above, the shutout was the Revs' third of the season, and the defensive performance of Stephen McCarthy and A.J. Soares was solid, assured, and accomplished.
"As a team we did well defensively," said Reis. "We have an important stretch here in the next couple of games. We just have to regroup and move on to the next one."