FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Behind every scoreless draw, there is a back story. A tale of missed opportunities, evaporating chances and, in some cases, poor luck.
Saturday’s 0-0 tie between the Revolution and Crew was no different.
Although neither team managed to score, it certainly wasn’t for lack of effort -- especially on the Revolution’s end.
“We had some good chances,” Revolution head coach Jay Heaps said after the game. “But we gave the ball away too easily -- and that’s what really cost us.”
Before the Revolution began losing the ball, Benny Feilhaber nearly gave the Revs an early advantage. From a Lee Nguyen pass into the area, Saer Sene laid it off to Feilhaber, who ran on it with a clear view of an unguarded far post. But Feilhaber pushed it wide of the far post, letting a promising chance fade in front of him.
“If we score the first play of the game,” Heaps said, “it’s a different game and the confidence (is there). I don’t want to say it wasn’t our night, (because) it’s such a negative.”
Feilhaber’s miss wasn’t the only chance that went begging. In the 29th minute, Sene gave it a go from 30 yards. The shot, which initially looked ambitious at best, curled on frame and caught the crossbar before Andy Gruenebaum collected it in front of the line.
Unlucky? You could say that.
Although Columbus came into the game with a reputation for grinding out results on the road, Revolution keeper Matt Reis -- who stopped three shots on Saturday -- begged to differ.
“I don’t think either team was really playing for a draw,” Reis said after the game. “I think it really opened up in the second half. They’re a counter-attacking team, and they like to sit in and then break.”
Despite some moments of sloppy play, both teams were afforded golden chances to grab the game-winner in the second half.
Minutes after the hour mark, Crew striker Emilio Renteria parked himself in front of frame and tried to volley a short pass from Justin Meram before the shot went well wide of the near post. It was an effort that Renteria was clearly disgusted with as he walked away with his hands on his head.
In the hunt for its fifth home win, the Revolution found one final opportunity in stoppage time. In the middle of the scramble inside the 18, Shalrie Joseph challenged for a Chris Tierney corner kick before it fell to A.J. Soares. Just as the center back was ready to put it through, his follow-through was interrupted by Bernardo Anor’s leg, which forced the shot off target.
Even though the Revolution didn’t get the three points they wanted, Reis, who has seen his fair share of scoreless draws in his 15-year-career, chalked it up as an instance when neither team buried its chances.
“There are going to be games like that,” Reis said. “But we’ve got an important stretch here in the next couple of games, and we’ve got to regroup and move on to the next one.”