FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The goalkeepers combined to make eight saves as the New England Revolution and Columbus Crew played to a 0-0 draw on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium in the first match for both sides following the international break.
Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum was the hero for the visitors, making six saves to claim his fifth shutout of the season. Gruenebaum was particularly massive in the first half, making stellar stops on Jose Moreno, Saer Sene and Fernando Cardenas in a 23-minute period. Matt Reis made two saves to lead the Revs to their second straight clean sheet.
The draw means the Revs (5-7-2, 17 pts.) remain two points behind the Crew (5-4-4, 19 pts.) in the Eastern Conference standings. Columbus also extended its unbeaten run at Gillette Stadium to seven games (4-0-3) dating back to 2006.
The Revs pressed early and almost broke through just 40 seconds after the opening whistle. Skillful combination play between Sene and Lee Nguyen teed up Benny Feilhaber in the left side of the box, but Feilhaber’s shot from a tight angle sliced wide of the far post.
Feilhaber turned provider in the 15th minute when his through ball sliced opened the Crew backline and sent Moreno on a breakaway. Gruenebaum came up huge to deny Moreno, charging off his line to make a sliding save.
Gruenebaum did himself one better in the 29th minute, diving full stretch to his left to tip Sene’s ferocious 30-yard drive off the underside of the crossbar as the Revs continued to knock on the door. The Columbus ‘keeper was stellar again in the 38th minute, using a strong left hand to palm away Cardenas’ rasping drive.
The visitors threatened in first-half stoppage time when Milovan Mirosevic’s curling shot struck the crossbar, but it was insignificant as the Chilean midfielder was ruled offside.
After a fast-paced opening 45 minutes, the action was less frantic in the second half as both sides struggled to generate quality scoring chances. Columbus’ best opportunity came in the 76th minute when Josh Williams sent a long-distance shot comfortably into the arms of Reis, while New England threatened one final time when Nguyen’s bouncing drive forced Gruenebaum into another sprawling save early in stoppage time.
Before returning to Gillette Stadium for a three-game home-stand the Revs will hit the road once more when they head north of the border to visit Toronto FC next weekend. Kickoff from BMO Field is set for 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 23.
New England Revolution vs. Columbus Crew
June 16, 2012 – Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Mass.)
New England Revolution 0, Columbus Crew 0
New England Revolution: Matt Reis, Chris Tierney, A.J. Soares, Stephen McCarthy, Kevin Alston, Lee Nguyen, Benny Feilhaber, Shalrie Joseph ©, Fernando Cardenas (Kelyn Rowe 63), Saer Sene, Jose Moreno (Blake Brettschneider 46)
Substitutes Not Used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Darrius Barnes, John Lozano, Diego Fagundez, Alec Purdie
STATS: Shots 11, Shots on Target 6, Corner Kicks 3, Saves 3, Fouls 14, Offsides 2, Passes Completed (percentage) 368 (69.6%), Possession 45.8%
Columbus Crew: Andy Gruenebaum, Sebastian Miranda, Josh Williams, Carlos Mendes (Eric Gehrig 46), Nemanja Vukovic, Kevan George, Milovan Mirosevic ©, Tony Tchani, Justin Meram (Bernardo Anor 72), Eddie Gaven, Emilio Renteria (Ethan Finlay 91+)
Substitutes Not Used: Matt Lampson, Chris Birchall, Cole Grossman, Olman Vargas
STATS: Shots 13, Shots on Target 3, Corner Kicks 1, Saves 6, Fouls 15, Offsides 3, Passes Completed (percentage) 445 (77.5%), Possession 54.2%
* Note that all statistics are unofficial
NE: Soares (caution) 21
NE: Moreno (caution) 43
CLB: Miranda (caution) 62
Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Assistant Referees: Chris Strickland, Eric Proctor
Fourth Official: Sorin Stoica
Weather: Partly Cloudy and 61 degrees
New England Revolution: 5-7-2 (17 pts.)
Columbus Crew 5-4-4 (19 pts.)
- Tonight’s match marked the 55th all-time regular season meeting between the Revs and the Crew, and the 61st overall meeting, including five MLS Cup Playoffs meetings and one U.S. Open Cup contest
- Despite the draw, Columbus still leads the all-time regular-season series between the two teams, 28-16-11 … the Revs are 10-13-5 at home against Columbus, including a 6-7-4 mark at Gillette Stadium since its opening in 2002
- The Revs and Crew will meet two additional times this season, marking the first season since 2008 that the clubs will meet more than twice… the Revs will travel to Columbus on Aug. 25 before hosting the Crew at Gillette Stadium on Sept. 5
- Since 2007, New England has won just twice in its last 13 meetings with Columbus … the Revs are 2-8-3 in that stretch
- The draw extended the Revs winless streak against the Crew to five games dating back to the Revs last win – a 1-0 victory – on Oct. 25, 2009 … since then, the Revs are 0-3-2
- The 0-0 final marked the Revs’ first scoreless draw of the season and first since June 15, 2011 against Toronto
- The shutout was Matt Reis’ 66th career shutout … the shutout was also his third of the season and second-consecutive shutout … last year, Reis posted back-to-back shutout efforts on June 15 (Toronto) and June 18 (Chicago)
- Matt Reis now has six shutouts in 29 appearances against the Crew, and has posted 7-9-10 marks in those contests
- Tonight’s starting lineup was identical to the lineup in the Revs’ last match against Chicago on June 2 … this marked just the second time this season that Jay Heaps has used identical lineups in consecutive games after Heaps used the same starting 11 on May 19 against Houston and May 26 at D.C.
- Blake Brettschneider replaced Jose Moreno at forward to start the second half as Moreno came out with an ankle injury
- Kelyn Rowe made his third consecutive substitute appearance as he replaced Fernando Cardenas in the 63rd minute … Rowe now has 11 appearances in 2011 after making eight starts to open the year