CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Sainey Nyassi and Zack Schilawski each scored a goal Sunday afternoon as New England clinched a 2-1 victory over the Columbus Crew at Finley Stadium.
Nyassi scored the first goal of the game in the 43rd minute while Schilawski added another in the 81st minute to keep the Revolution’s preseason record (4-0-0) spotless. Columbus’ Tom Heinemann scored the first goal against the Revolution this preseason with a slick shot that beat Bobby Shuttleworth at the 90+1 minute mark.
Without the services of veterans Didier Domi, Matt Reis, Ousmane Dabo and Kheli Dube – all of whom were not available for the match - the Revolution fielded a starting XI full of fresh faces.
Although the first forty minutes didn’t feature too many offensive chances for the Revolution, they were able to capitalize on one of them in the 43rd minute – thanks, in part, to a serendipitous deflection.
With players buzzing in front of him, Nyassi let it rip from distance before it ricocheted off a player inside the area and past Crew keeper Will Hesmer for the lead just minutes before the interval.
As expected, Revolution manager Steve Nicol made wholesale changes to his lineup after the first act. The second half featured newly-signed Michael Augustine, who was stationed on the right wing, as well as trialist Otto Loewy, a defender from Winthrop University, who was slotted in as a centerback.
Much like their predecessors, the second wave of Revolution players played stingy defense, but opened up a few more offensive opportunities.
Kenny Mansally whipped a teasing free kick that hovered inches above the bar in the 55th minute. He launched another dead ball shot in the 69th, this time on frame, that forced substitute Crew keeper Alex Riggs to make a tough save to keep it a one-goal game.
It did not stay 1-0 much longer after that. In the 81st minute, Mansally delivered a dangerous corner into the box that was initially headed on frame by Alan Koger before it was stopped by Riggs. But, the rebound squirted free to Schilawski, who pushed it through to make it 2-0 New England.
Hoping to keep their shutout streak intact, the Revolution tried flood the zone to keep the Crew at bay. But a minute into stoppage time, Heinemann crept into the Revolution area, took on Darrius Barnes, and then beat Shuttleworth to spoil the streak.