The New England Revolution fell to the Columbus Crew for the second time this season, losing 1-0 in Columbus.
Coming off a win against Minnesota United a week prior, New England had the confidence going into this game. However, having already lost to the Crew in the first home game of the 2019 season, there was still a little hesitation going into this game.
New England started off the game with some promise, with defender Jalil Anibaba attempting a rocket of a volley in the 10th minute, only for it to be saved by Columbus goalkeeper Zack Steffen. Unfortunately for the Revolution, that seemed to be the team’s only real goal scoring chance, as the Columbus midfield and attack dominated for the rest of the half.
The Crew’s first chance came in the 13th minute, when forward Federico Higuain made a fantastic run past the Revolution defense. Higuain barely got the shot off, only for it to be blocked by a last ditch effort by Revolution captain and defender Michael Mancienne. Another chance came for the Crew only a minute after when the home side was awarded a corner kick. The ball was sent in and winger Robinho got a head on it, nearly putting the ball past Revolution goalkeeper Cody Cropper. Robinho’s headed attempt hit the side netting. Columbus nearly drew first blood again when Crew defender Jonathan Mensah played a beautiful long range pass from the back and caught forward Gyasi Zardes on the run. It was cut short after a slide tackle from Jalil Anibaba stopped the effort.
Columbus would score the only goal in the game after the team were awarded a free kick outside the box after Revolution forward Teal Bunbury committed a foul. Crew forward Federico Higuain stepped up to take it, delivering a curling effort into the 18 yard box. Crew defender Josh Williams headed it past Cody Cropper, making the score 1-0.
The Revolution would continue to struggle in the second half. The Crew kept running through the defense and set pieces seemed to wear the team down. New England were nearly awarded a penalty after forward Juan Fernando Caicedo was brought down in the box, but the penalty was never called. The Revolution would have the worst of their struggles come in the 63rd minute after Michael Mancienne committed a horribly timed slide tackle challenge on Higuain, earning him an immediate red card and forcing the Revolution to play with 10 men.
Although this was a tough loss and the team can’t seem to figure out how to break down the Crew, it wasn’t our worst defeat. The defense and our attack needs either fixing or improvements. Hopefully in the summer when Friedel brings in a new designated player, it will help the team perform better. But for now, these defensive and attacking woes seem to be going nowhere.
Luke Stergiou can be contacted