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Crew SC ties New England Revolution at home

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The Black & Gold had the lead twice in the match, but failed to hold on each time

MLS: New England Revolution at Columbus Crew SC Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Gregg Berhalter talks following Columbus Crew SC’s 2-2 draw with the New England Revolution.

Posted by Massive Report on Saturday, April 21, 2018

Columbus Crew SC’s losing streak came to an end, but the Black & Gold took only one point at home as they tied 2-2 with the New England Revolution on Saturday at MAPFRE Stadium. Gyasi Zardes and Andrew Farrell (own goal) scored for Columbus while Teal Bunbury and Cristian Penilla were New England’s goal scorers.

Winless in the last four matches after going undefeated in the first four, Crew SC now has 11 points (3-3-2) in Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference.

Head coach Gregg Berhalter anticipated during the week that the lineup could see a few changes for this match after three straight losses and he made one, bringing Niko Hansen into the starting 11 over Cristian Martinez. It was Hansen’s fourth start for the Crew.

The team had a couple of good goal opportunities before the two-minute mark. Milton Valenzuela advanced down the left and crossed to Pedro Santos, who couldn’t reach the ball inside the penalty box, allowing New England’s defender to deflect it. After the corner, the ball rebounded to Harrison Afful at the edge of the box, but his shot was blocked.

In the eighth minute, the Black & Gold managed to turn the dominance into a goal as Federico Higuain made a long pass to Valenzuela inside the penalty box and New England’s Farrell headed the Argentinean’s cross in to his own net when he tried to deflect it.

The advantage only lasted five minutes, though. The Revolution connected a good counter-attack and Penilla found Bunbury inside the penalty box. The forward was defended by Jonathan Mensah, but managed to fire a precise shot from a tough angle to tie the match.

In the 18th minute, Hansen recovered the ball near New England’s penalty box and fired a short-range shot, but Matt Turner made the save. In the following play, Diego Fagundez tried to surprise Zack Steffen from outside the box, but Crew SC’s keeper was in good position to hold the ball. After an intense 20 minutes, the match slowed a bit before a return to its usual pace nearing the end of the first half.

Crew SC pushed forward and got close to scoring when Artur fed Zardes inside the penalty box and the forward crossed to Hansen, who tried to slide to tap the ball in, but is went under his body, just a few inches away from the goal. In the following play, Higuain passed the ball to Zardes near the penalty box, the striker cut inside and finished with a low shot out of Turner’s range to score 2-1.

The Black & Gold once again gave up the lead shortly after in stoppage time, as Juan Agudelo dispossessed Jonathan near the edge of the box and found Penilla alone on the left side to finish in Steffen’s right corner.

Crew SC started the second half better and the team created some early chances in first five minutes. On the first of them, Artur passed to Zardes, who had his shot inside the penalty box blocked. Santos took the corner kick and Jonathan headed the ball off the crossbar before he was called for a foul.

In the 60th minute, Afful was taken down by Fagundez when he was about to enter the box, Santos’ shot from the free kick was not good. Two minutes later, Wil Trapp tried a long pass to Zardes, Turner left the box to intercept it but missed the ball, but Crew SC’s forward couldn’t finish it.

The Black & Gold kept pushing and Higuain had a great opportunity when Valenzuela crossed the ball into the penalty box and he volleyed it to the goal, but Jalil Anibaba stopped it a few inches before it crossed the line. A couple of minutes later, it was New England who almost scored as Steffen had to stretch to save Bunbury’s header.

With only five minutes to be played, the Revolution almost turned things around as Penilla had another open look inside the penalty box and Jonathan blocked the shot after it had already beaten Steffen.

After that, with Cristian Martinez and Adam Jahn already on the field, the Crew looked dangerous with some crosses into the penalty box, with the forward even hitting the post in one of them, but the effort wasn’t enough to score the game-winning goal.

Zardes’ Curse is Over

Zardes entered his eighth match for Crew SC having only scored against Canadian teams. After netting two against the Montreal Impact and one over Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps, the forward finally found the back of the net while playing against a non-Canadian team as he scored the team’s second goal against the Revolution.

A Different Look

For one night, Crew SC wasn’t black or gold, as the team played with all white uniforms against New England. The kits were part of MLS’ actions fort the Earth Day 2018 as they were built of technical yarns made using Parley Ocean Plastic.

What’s Next

After being on the road for the last couple of week, Crew SC will play back-to-back home matches now as the team returns to MAPFRE Stadium next Saturday to face the San Jose Earthquakes, at 7.30pm. ET.