After beginning the week with a terribly received rebrand and a midweek loss to Toronto, the Columbus Crew ended a terrible week on and off the field with their second straight road loss; a 1-0 defeat to the New England Revolution in Foxboro.
The hosts opened the game aggressively with Columbus lagging defensively. The Revs fired off five shots in the first ten minutes, including the first real chance of the game. Gustavo Bou slid in a pass into the Columbus penalty area for Arnór Ingvi Traustason. The Islandic midfielder took the shot, but Eloy Room was quick off his line to snuff the chance.
The New England attack slowed down after the initial onslaught, but the Crew struggled to get into the game. Without the slightly injured Lucas Zelarayan, the Columbus attack lacked sharpness and struggled to build possession.
The Revs had another golden opportunity in the 32nd minute as Carles Gil slipped unmarked into the penalty area. Taking a square pass, he put a shot at the Columbus goal. Room pressured the shot and in rang the upright and caromed back into the arms of Room, ending the best chance of the game.
The Columbus attack never created a chance like Gil’s in the first 45 minutes. The visitors got off three tepid attempts, none of which found the target.
Neither team found much fluency in the attack coming out of halftime as both teams looked like they were ending a busy week. Both played midweek.
The Crew nearly struck behind an Artur shot outside the box in the 62nd minute. Taking a pass from Derrick Etienne Jr. from wide and drove into space and uncorked a shot from distance that caromed off the left post and out.
The Revolution looked more likely to break the scoreless deadlock as the game wound on and they finally broke through in the 86th minute. With the game getting stretched, the defense reacted slowly to the restart. Brandon Bye received the ball on the right side and bent a curling low cross and found Adam Buksa who had beaten Jonathan Mensah. The Polish attacker didn’t miss from inside six and the Revs got the 1-0 lead they looked good for.
The Crew have failed to win in 15 straight road games. It was going to be hard for Columbus to break the team record streak during the game against the Revolution. With Columbus shorthanded and in the tail end of an extreme run of matches, but the Crew never looked like they could break through. The attack was toothless and the defense was consistently stretched.
The Crew missed Zelarayan’s playmaking ability, registering five shots on the night. A single one was one target, a Pedro Santos free kick that Matt Turner saved easily. The Crew forwards, Gyasi Zardes and Bradley Wright-Phillips combined for two shots, a couple of early shots from Zardes.
The Crew injury list is long with Zelarayan picking up a slight injury in the lead-up to the game and unable to play. It also appeared to get longer as a couple Crew wingers went down with injuries in the second half of the match. Luis Diaz took a blow to the head in the 58th minute trying to clear the ball in the defensive third. The challenge appeared to be an incidential collision, but the Costa Rican wasn’t able to continue. Alex Matan came on as his replacement. Ettiene Jr. went down in the 67th minute after a Crew attack with a leg injury and was able to walk off with assistance. Loanee Liam Fraser made his Crew debut in relief.
Some rest finally. The Crew has nearly a full week to prepare for the road trip to face New York City FC on Saturday evening at 7:30 pm. Columbus played six games since hosting Monterrey on Wednesday, April 28th. That’s a lot of soccer in 18 days.