After a midweek match that was reminiscent of the end of the Robert Warzycha era, Columbus Crew SC returned to its more familiar style under second-year head coach Gregg Berhalter Saturday afternoon against the New England Revolution.
Although the match finished 0-0 between the two Eastern Conference sides, Crew SC possessed the ball (57.6 percent) and looked smooth when they went forward as opposed to the defensive, counterattacking style they employed against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Early in the match, it seemed New England was the one who was playing their second game in four days. The Black and Gold came out and worked the ball around in the midfield making Jermaine Jones - who made his first appearance of the year - and company work hard to get it back.
Despite controlling much of the early play, Columbus struggled to create chances offensively. Winger Justin Meram had a shot from outside the 18-yard box that deflected over Bobby Shuttleworth's goal for the best chance of the half.
The Revolution began to take over the game as the teams approached halftime. Goalkeeper Steve Clark was forced to make two reaction saves within the final 10 minutes of the half to keep the game scoreless.
Although the team continued to control the possession, the Black and Gold didn't create much in the way of chances in the second half, as the fatigue from the tough week began to set in.
While there wasn't much action in front of goal, the rivalry between the two teams spilled out in the middle of the second half. After Tony Tchani took down Lee Nguyen outside the penalty area, players from each team had to be pulled away, as pushing and shoving ensued.
The following free kick resulted in a nice save by Clark, who bobbled the initial catch, but was able to recover to collect the ball.
As the match came to a close, second half substitute Aaron Schoenfeld had a chance to steal three points for Crew SC. Meram played a chip pass over the New England defense for the big striker, but Shuttleworth came rushing out and was able to get to the ball before Schoenfeld could get a touch and put it into the net.
After grinding out a result during the week, Columbus did well to get another point in one of the more difficult places to play in the league. With windy conditions and tired legs, Berhalter and his men will take two points in a week of lots of travel and return home for next week's match with Orlando City.