FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – One week after the New England Revolution matched the club record for wins in a season (17), they tied yet another club mark on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium, registering 33 shots in their showdown with the Columbus Crew.
Unfortunately those 33 shots weren’t enough to secure three points, however, as the Revs were stifled in a 1-1 draw with the Crew, snapping the Revs’ home winning streak at four games.
“That’s a game we should win, no question about it,” said head coach Bruce Arena. “That should’ve been a three-zero game.”
A remarkable 24 of the Revolution’s shots came in the second half, including six from the 89th minute through the final whistle as the hosts made a desperate push for a late goal while Crew goalkeeper Eloy Room struggled through an injury after Columbus had used their allotted substitutions.
That breakthrough never came, however, and the Revs were left grappling with the understanding that these types of nights happen throughout the course of a season, but also knowing they’ll need to be much sharper once the postseason begins in November.
“Sometimes, these things happen,” said Tommy McNamara. “Of course, it’s better to happen now than if we get into the playoffs or when we get into the playoffs, to happen in a playoff game. So, we just need to make sure that we’re prepared to be ruthless in these games and in this final end of the season where teams are desperate, desperate, desperate for points, and into the playoffs you need to be ruthless. When you get chances, you need to take them and you need to put the game away when you have them. On the flip side, you can’t give nothing away, and so it’s a lesson for us to be ruthless in moments.”
Adam Buksa was ruthless in the 62nd minute, pouncing on an errant pass and punishing Columbus with his 11th goal of the year, wiping out Gyasi Zardes’ strike four minutes earlier. That goal helped the Revs improve to 3-1-1 when conceding the first goal at home this year, and despite their frustration with the result, one point gained extended the Revs’ leads both atop the East (15 points) and Supporters’ Shield race (10 points).
With just eight games left in the regular season the Revs remain in prime position, but there will also be plenty of tape from Saturday night’s game to study ahead of the Revolution’s next match, a Wednesday night visit to the Chicago Fire.
“There’s some mistakes there that our players made tonight that we talk about all year,” said Arena. “This is a good – I wouldn’t call it a wakeup call – it’s a good lesson for them, because all these little things we have to get right, if we want to be a team in the postseason that can win games. So tonight, our players know – and they’ll be reminded again tomorrow – some of the things they need to do better. And if we did those little things better today, we would’ve won the game.”