FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Andres Mendoza scored a pair of goals – sandwiched around the first career tally for Dilly Duka – as the Columbus Crew rolled to a 3-0 win over the New England Revolution on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.
The Crew (13-12-8, 47 pts.) clinched a spot in the 2011 MLS Cup Playoffs with the victory, while the Revs (5-16-12, 27 pts.) suffered their fifth straight loss in what was their home finale.
Mendoza scored what proved to be the game-winning goal in the 31st minute to give the visitors a halftime lead, while a Duka goal and a second strike from Mendoza added to the Crew’s advantage in the second half.
Goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth earned his second straight start between the pipes with Matt Reis still nursing a right hamstring strain, while Franco Coria replaced Ryan Cochrane in central defense to mark the only change from the Revolution lineup which suffered a 2-1 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes last weekend.
Both sides created a series of half chances in the early stages, but the Crew came closest to opening the scoring in the 27th minute. Mendoza used a clever pullback to create space for himself in the box before firing just wide of the left post with a quickly-executed toe poke.
Mendoza found more success four minutes later, making the breakthrough in the 31st minute to give the Crew a 1-0 lead. Emilio Renteria rose to flick a long pass into the path of Mendoza, who eluded the challenge of Darrius Barnes before blasting a left-footed drive past the right hand of Shuttleworth.
The Revs responded well and almost equalized immediately, but Columbus goalkeeper William Hesmer did well to react quickly and kick away Milton Caraglio’s deflected long-range effort.
Columbus doubled its advantage to 2-0 in the 59th minute when Duka notched his first career goal. Duka corralled a half clearance 25 yards out before dribbling into the left side of the box and finishing low back across the face of goal and inside the right post.
It took just four more minutes for the Crew to extend its lead to 3-0 as Mendoza grabbed his second goal in the 63rd minute. Sebastian Miranda began the scoring sequence with a long pass down the right wing for Renteria, who delivered a cross to Mendoza at the back post. Mendoza made no mistake with his first-time effort, blasting a left-footed shot into the near upper corner.
New England responded by making a pair of substitutions in the 68th minute, bringing on forwards Rajko Lekic and Zack Schilawski in place of Monsef Zerka and Caraglio, but the Revolution’s best chance – an 85th-minute free kick from Chris Tierney – was easily saved by Hesmer.
The Revs will close out the 2011 season next weekend when they travel north of the border for an Eastern Conference clash with Toronto FC on Saturday, Oct. 22. An afternoon kickoff from BMO Field is set for 12:30 p.m. ET.
New England Revolution vs. Columbus Crew
October 15, 2011 – Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
Columbus Crew 3, New England Revolution 0
CLB: Andres Mendoza (Emilio Renteria) 31
CLB: Dilly Duka (unassisted) 59
CLB: Andres Mendoza (Emilio Renteria, Sebastian Miranda) 63
New England Revolution: Bobby Shuttleworth, Chris Tierney, Franco Coria, Darrius Barnes, Kevin Alston, Monsef Zerka (Zack Schilawski 68), Shalrie Joseph ©, Benny Feilhaber, Ryan Guy, Diego Fagundez (Kheli Dube 80), Milton Caraglio (Rajko Lekic 68)
Substitutes Not Used: Tim Murray, Ryan Cochrane, Otto Loewy, Pat Phelan
STATS*: Shots: 9; Shots on Goal: 3; Saves: 1; Corner Kicks: 2; Offside: 0; Fouls Committed: 9
Columbus Crew: William Hesmer, Josh Gardner, Sebastian Miranda, Julius James, Chad Marshall, Emmanuel Ekpo, Eddie Gaven, Danny O’Rourke, Andres Mendoza (Bernardo Anor 80), Emilio Renteria (Tommy Heinemann 78), Dilly Duka (Jeff Cunningham 89)
Substitutes Not Used: Andy Grunebaum, Rich Balchan, Kevin Burns, Shaun Francis
STATS*: Shots: 9; Shots on Goal: 4; Saves: 3; Corner Kicks: 1; Offside: 14; Fouls Committed: 20
* Note that all statistics are unofficial
CLB: Andres Mendoza (caution) 41
CLB: Emmanuel Ekpo (caution) 57
NE: Shalrie Joseph (caution) 90
Referee: Mark Geiger
Assistant Referees: Anthony Vasoli, Chris Strickland
Fourth Official: Abiodun Okulaja
Weather: Partly cloudy and 58 degrees
New England Revolution: 5-16-12 (27 pts.)
Columbus Crew 13-12-8 (47 pts.)
- Columbus leads the all-time regular-season series between the two teams, 28-16-10 … the Revs are 10-13-4 at home against Columbus, including a 6-7-3 mark at Gillette Stadium since its opening in 2002
- Saturday’s match was 54th all-time regular season meeting and completed the season series between the Revs and Crew this season
The loss for the Revs gives Columbus a season series win for the second consecutive season … earlier this season Columbus earned a 3-1 win on August 13 at Crew Stadium … in 2010, Columbus defeated New England at Crew Stadium, 3-2, on May 8 and the two teams played to a 2-2 draw on September 25 at Gillette Stadium … the Revs’ last season-series victory over the Crew came in 2006, when the Revolution went 2-1-1 against Columbus
- With the loss, the last home win for the Revs against Columbus remains a 1-0 win Oct 14, 2006 at Gillette Stadium … since their last home win in 2006, the Revs have gone 0-4-2 at home in six meetings against Columbus
New England has won just twice in its last 12 meetings with Columbus dating back to the 2007 season … the Revs are 2-7-3 in that stretch
- Outside of MLS competition, the Revs are 3-0-3 against the Crew, including MLS Cup Playoff (2-0-3) and U.S. Open Cup (1-0-0) matches
Shalrie Joseph’s start tonight ties Jay Heaps’ clubs starts record at 238 … Joseph, the nine-year veteran – all with New England – could also potentially tie Heaps for games played next weekend in Toronto as Joseph sits one behind Heaps’ record of 243 appearances for the Revs
- Tonight marked Steve Nicol’s 300th regular-season game in his career and stands in second place on the MLS games coached list … all of his games coached have come with the Revolution (1999, 2002-present) … the league’s all-time games coached leader is Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid, who has – coming into tonight – coached 348 MLS games, spanning 12 different seasons
Bobby Shuttleworth made consecutive starts tonight in place of the injured Matt Reis … the start for Shuttleworth was his sixth of the season and has posted a 0-4-2 record in 2011
- The Revs began the match in a 4-4-2 formation for the ninth consecutive game (since Aug. 17 against Houston) and featured a two man forward line of Caraglio and Fagundez for the third straight game … Chris Tierney started at left back for the fourth straight game alongside Darrius Barnes, Franco Coria and Kevin Alston on the back line … midfielders Monsef Zerka and Ryan Guy featured on the wings with Shalrie Joseph and Benny Feilhaber in the middle
The Revs made a pair of 68th-minute substitutions as Rajko Lekic replaced Milton Caraglio and Zack Schilawski entered for Monsef Zerka … the Revs remained in a 4-4-2 formation as Diego Fagundez went from forward to right wing and Ryan Guy moved from right wing to left wing, with Lekic and Schilawski moving to the forward line.
- The 3-0 loss tonight matches the largest margin of defeat in a MLS game this season … the Revs fell to Philadelphia, 3-0, on July 17 at Gillette Stadium
The Revs have now lost five consecutive games since their 2-0 win over FC Dallas on September 10 … in the five game span – beginning with a 3-0 loss at Portland on September 16 – the Revs have been outscored 13-4
- Tonight’s game concluded the 17-game home schedule for the Revs this season … the Revs finished the season with a record of 4-7-6, a .411 winning percentage … the previous low for a winning percentage in a season at home came the year before moving into Gillette Stadium when the team posted a 6-5-2 mark (.562) at Foxboro Stadium in 2001
With only five wins in the 2011 campaign, the loss tonight will solidify the club record for fewest wins in a season … the 2001 Revolution squad won only seven matches in a shortened 27-game season … since 2000, the Revs have failed to reach 10 wins on the season just three times: 2001 (7 wins), 2004 (8 wins) and 2010 (9 wins)
- The Revs did not score tonight, finishing their home schedule with 17 goals in 17 matches at Gillette Stadium this season, the fewest in both club and Gillette Stadium history … entering the 2011 season at Gillette Stadium, the Revs had averaged 25.7 goals a season at Gillette Stadium, since it opened in 2002
With three goals allowed tonight, the Revs officially conceded 24 goals at Gillette Stadium this season, the most in Gillette Stadium history
- Prior to the game tonight, team awards were announced: Zak Boggs and Matt Reis were named co-Humanitarian of the Year, A.J. Soares was named Defender of the Year, and Matt Reis took home team Most Valuable Player
The Revs hosted Fan Appreciation Night in the home-schedule finale … the Revs conducted their annual "Shirts off their Backs" promotion at the end of the game where lucky Season Ticket Holders came down to the field to get the 18 dressed players' shirts straight off their backs ... after the game, the entire team appeared in Autograph Alley, which was set up at the north end of the stadium, under the bridge and lighthouse