New England Soccer Today

That Sinking Feeling

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

The Revolution’s playoff hopes took a big hit Sunday as they fell 2-0 to the Columbus Crew. New England’s offense never found rhythm and failed to find their recent form that allowed them to win three straight in league play prior to Sunday’s match..

Kei Kamara was largely ineffective in his first game in Columbus since being traded to the Revolution, as his replacement with Crew, Ola Kamara, scored the game’s two goals.

The first half was dominated by the Crew, who outshot the Revs 12-6, including seven shots on target compared to the Revolution’s four. They also held 56.6 percent possession in the first half, keeping the ball on the Revolution’s side the majority of the half.

The Crew’s first half domination led to the break-through towards the end of the half in the 42nd minute, with Ola Kamara drilling a low shot through the legs of London Woodberry and beating Brad Knighton in the bottom near-side corner.

Despite trailing at halftime, the Revolution came out of the locker room flat and Columbus still controlled the pace of play. The Revolution adjusted from their 4-4-2 formation to a 4-3-3 and substituted Steve Neumann for Teal Bunbury early in the second half, but these adjustments were largely ineffective.

Teams exchanged half-chances until the 67th minute when Harrison Afful of the Crew received a long ball in the Revolution box and dragged a shot to the near post, but the ball hit the base of the post and the Revolution cleared the threat, keeping the score 1-0.

The Crew continued to look like the better team in the latter stages, disrupting the Revolution’s build-up and looking dangerous on numerous counter attacks. In the 82nd minute, the Crew caught a break when a counter-attack led to a cross from the wing, with Ola Kamara the intended receiver of the pass. The cross did not connect, but Woodberry made enough shoulder-to-shoulder contact to award a penalty kick to the Crew. Ola Kamara converted the chance to double the lead for the home team.

The game had some fireworks towards the conclusion of the match, as Scott Caldwell was chasing a loose ball at midfield and jumped to head the ball and collided with Ola Kamara. A shoving match involving a host of players on both sides lasted for about a minute before cooler heads prevailed and Caldwell was given a yellow card.

The Revolution had a final chance to get on the board in stoppage time with Bunbury splitting through the defense into the box and chipping a shot past Crew keeper Steve Clark, but the Crew keeper deflected the ball enough to guide it wide.

It was a frustrating evening for New England, who remain at 36 points, one point behind sixth-place D.C. United. Both D.C. and fifth-place Montreal have a game in hand and a large advantage in goal differential for the final spot. The Crew remain in 9th place in the Eastern Conference Standings with 32 points and are still projected to miss the playoffs, but they enjoyed their role Sunday night as playing spoiler for Kei Kamara, their former star, and his new team.

The Revolution return home to face Sporting Kansas City next Saturday, October 1st for a 7:30 pm kickoff time.


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