FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – One goal would’ve been enough for the New England Revolution to secure three vital points on Saturday night.
Unfortunately for the Revs, that goal never came as they settled for a 0-0 draw with a resolute Real Salt Lake side at Gillette Stadium, a fifth draw in the last eight games (1-2-5) as the Revolution will remain in the Eastern Conference’s seventh and final playoff spot following the weekend’s action.
Despite unleashing 23 shots – 18 in the second half – New England hit the target just three times and failed to break down an RSL team that made eight changes from their most recent match.
“As we’ve seen in a number of games at home, our opponents do a good job of getting players behind the ball and keeping everything in front of them as best they can,” said head coach Bruce Arena. “We need to be technically better. Our first half, we were technically poor.
“Having said that, we had a couple chances that could be in the back of the net. After 90 minutes, you’ve got to be disappointed not to get three points, and know that we were real close to getting the three points.”
Arena noted that the Revs were much improved in the second half, due at least in part to the introduction of Gustavo Bou, who made his first substitute appearance in MLS after starting the past 10 games. Bou picked up a knock in the 3-3 draw with Orlando last weekend and didn’t train for much of the week, but was a catalyst in his 45-minute stint on Saturday night.
Bou said he “feels well” after the run-out, and said he’s now focused on building towards the midweek trip to the Pacific Northwest, where the Revs will visit the Portland Timbers on Wednesday night.
“It was definitely a hard game today,” Bou said via interpreter. “It’s going to be like this for the remainder of the season. We go home definitely frustrated. We did create some really good chances in the first half, but I felt in the second half, we clearly dominated most of the play. We were, most of the time, on the attacking front.”
New England twice hit the crossbar – Carles Gil early, and Brandon Bye late – but they weren’t able to capitalize on their first clean sheet since July 21 against FC Cincinnati. Instead they remain three points above the playoff line – and with a game in hand – with just three games left on the schedule.
“One would’ve been enough tonight, so it’s really frustrating,” said goalkeeper Matt Turner. “But three games left, a clean sheet to build off, and we’ll look towards Portland on Wednesday.”