The Columbus Crew picked up a point in a scoreless 0-0 draw with the New England Revolution on Saturday, July 23rd. Columbus controlled the match and had more chances, but were unable to find the difference-making goal. This almost felt like an unlucky draw for Columbus, who arguably played well enough for most of the match to pick up three points instead of just one.
Nevertheless, the Crew are now unbeaten in their last nine MLS matches (picking up 17 points in that span with four wins and five draws). They have also picked up nine points in five matches this month.
Columbus now sits sixth in the Eastern Conference table with 30 points (through 21 matches). The Crew are tied with Orlando for the fifth most points in the East, but Orlando holds the tiebreaker on total wins. Columbus has a match in hand, however.
Cucho had his best chance of the match in the 15th minute as he put a low shot on target across goal from about 25 yards out, but it was saved by a diving Djordje Petrovic in net for New England. This match marked the first time that Cucho failed to score for Columbus (it also marked the first time that he played the full 90 minutes, which shows that he's just about fully fit). Still, his quick start out of the gate in MLS is impressive.
Columbus Crew drew 0-0 with the New England Revolution
Columbus' best chance at goal in the match came in the 24th minute. Pedro Santos pulled a shot on a volley from the left side of the box, but it was saved by Petrovic. Lucas Zelarayan then had a chance on the rebound as he headed the ball first touch and it looked good for goal, but it was cleared off the line by Revs defender Henry Kessler. Either one would have been great goals if they had found the net. The Zelarayan header had the highest expected goals (xG) output of any chance in the match.
Luis Diaz and Derrick Etienne Jr. both also had back-to-back chances at a goal in the 34th minute, but both came up empty. A nice shot from Diaz from the right side was saved and the rebound deflected off of Etienne, but the ball went just wide-right of the goal.
The Crew held the possession edge 57.7%-42.3% in the match. Along with that, Columbus completed 87.9% of their passes compared to the Revs' 79.4%. Columbus also outshot New England 17-5 in the match and held a 7-2 edge in shots on goal.
Columbus also held the edge in expected goals at 1.0 to 0.2, and held a lot of possession and did well passing-wise, but only a few of their shots were truly threatening.
Zelarayan was strong in the match. He completed 87% of his passes, led the team with 5 key passes, and he drew two fouls. He also had the most xG+A (expected goals plus assists) output in the match with 0.65 even though it didn't result in a goal.
Darlington Nagbe and Jonathan Mensah both had strong passes matches as well (per usual). Nagbe completed 95.5% of his passes while making two key passes, while Mensah completed 93.3% of his passes while also making a pair of key passes himself.
Next up, Columbus will take on another one of the teams that they are in the playoff race with in Charlotte on Saturday, July 30th. Charlotte currently sits eighth in the East with 26 points.