The New England Revolution were once again the victims of a late comeback, this time against the struggling Columbus Crew
New England got off to a dream start in just the second minute as a Marko Perovic free kick found Pat Phelan in the box. He slid and did well to flick and redirect the ball into the back of the net past Will Hesmer to put the Revs in an early lead.
The Crew responded almost immediately through Steven Lenhart, but Darrius Barnes blocked his downward header in front of goal. The Crew enjoyed an extended period of possession dominance after the Revolution goal as the New England midfield struggled to string more than two or three passes together, a recurring problem for Steve Nicol’s side.
The 17th minute saw Schelotto feed Eddie Gaven wide on the left. The winger’s first-time cross zeroed in on Steven Lenhart, and he unleashed a fierce shot low at goal. Matt Reis was equal to it, however, and smothered the effort.
The match devolved into a tough midfield battle after that effort. The Crew retained the majority of possession but both teams saw moves break down before the final ball. Things finally picked up again in the 31st minute when a long ball from midfield bounced and found Steven Lenhart in the Revs’ box. He controlled the ball and laid it to Schelotto, but the Argentine’s half-volley soared high over the crossbar.
Kevin Alston left the match in the 34th minute due to a hamstring injury and was replaced by Emmanuel Osei. Columbus had the last chance of the half seven minutes later, surprisingly through Pat Phelan. His attempt to head Schelotto’s free kick behind forced Reis into an acrobatic fingertip save to prevent an own goal.
New England had the first decent chance after the interval when Will Hesmer was whistled and carded for handling outside the box. Perovic takes the free kick from just outside the eighteen but fires a wickedly curving ball over the bar.
They made good on their chances in the 55th, however. Ilija Stolica beat Frankie Hejduk in the Revs’ own end to start a dangerous break. He played a good ball down the left to a streaking Kenny Mansally, who then played a first-time cross to Marko Perovic in the right of the box. Perovic tried to lay it back to Stolica, who overran it but regained possession and was fouled while attempting to put the ball on goal. Shalrie Joseph buried the penalty for his second goal of the season to extend the Revolution’s lead.
The Crew finally responded seven minutes later. A run down the left flank produced a dangerous cross for Steven Lenhart, who appeared to beat Cory Gibbs to the ball and bury a close-range diving header. However, the goal was credited to Gibbs as an own goal.
Just two minutes later Eddie Gaven was streaking down the left again and did well to find his way almost to the byline before cutting the ball back to Schelotto at the top of the box. The Argentinean maestro’s shot flew errantly over the crossbar, however.
Just like Wednesday night in Dallas, the Revolution lost their lead late due to a penalty. After a scrum in the box, Shalrie Joseph attempted to block a shot in the box but his arm was extended and made contact with the ball, prompting a penalty call from Paul Ward. Schelotto made no mistake, burying the penalty to the right side.
The rest of the match devolved into a chippy affair as the Revs pressed forward for the winner while Columbus appeared content to sit back and fight to the draw. Several times the Crew employed time-wasting tactics to bog the game down, and a few yellow cards were given out in the final minutes. In the end, neither team had any meaningful chances in the final ten minutes.
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