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Eastern Conference Championship

Recap: NE, Colorado split points in scoreless draw

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England hit the crossbar twice, but injury-ravaged Colorado held out to to claim a 0-0 draw at Gillette Stadium.

Ryan Cochrane and Benny Feilhaber hit the woodwork either side of halftime, but the Revolution could not find a way through to collect all three points and stop the Rapids from extending their unbeaten streak in the series to seven matches (3-0-4).

New England coach Steve Nicol made five changes to the side that fell 3-0 at Chivas USA last Saturday as injuries forced him to alter his starting XI.

Revolution number one Matt Reis returned from a left shoulder sprain to replace Bobby Shuttleworth between the sticks, while Cochrane and Chris Tierney picked up places in the back four to replace the injured Franco Coria (left knee sprain) and Didier Domi (left quadriceps strain). Ousmane Dabo made his first MLS start in central midfield with Stephen McCarthy also given a place in the engine room. Zak Boggs missed out through illness after initially retaining his place, but his late withdrawal allowed Kenny Mansally to keep his spot in the lineup.

Omar Cummings missed out for Colorado after spraining his ankle in Wednesday's 2-1 victory at Houston. Quincy Amarikwa and Caleb Folan formed the front duo with Cummings out injured and Andre Akpan dropped to the bench. Jamie Smith also earned a rest with Marvell Wynne inserted at right back and Kosuke Kimura forced into a makeshift role on the right flank.

Neither side really found its stride during a ragged first half on a slick field, though each club did manage to carve out a chance before the halftime interval.

Cochrane came closest to breaking the deadlock after 15 minutes, when his header skimmed the top of the crossbar. Tierney provided a tempting cross from a free kick on the left wing to prompt the chance.

Colorado suffered yet another injury setback on the half hour as Folan limped off after straining his right groin. Andre Akpan replaced the Ireland international striker and promptly forced Reis to push away his 25-yard effort to send the two sides into halftime on level terms.

Nicol inserted Sainey Nyassi for McCarthy at halftime and the Revolution perked up at the start of the second half as it went in search of a victory.

Shalrie Joseph should have put the Revolution ahead after 57 minutes from a corner kick. Mansally curled his corner to the back post and Joseph stood there unmarked after Rapids defender Tyrone Marshall stumbled as he backtracked. Joseph, however, headed straight at Colorado goalkeeper Matt Pickens to allow Pickens to push the effort away.

New England hit the crossbar for a second time with just over a quarter of an hour to play. Nyassi collected a quick long ball out of the back and stormed into the penalty area. He played a driven ball to the near post, where Feilhaber did well to connect with the service. However, the midfielder's glancing effort hit off the crossbar before deflecting to safety.

Nyassi created one last chance in second half stoppage time, but Marshall intervened to cut out the attempted cross from Rajko Lekic and Pickens covered the ball along the end line to seal a point for the visitors.

New England's next match will be at home, when they host Vancouver Whitecaps on May 14. Colorado, meanwhile, will go on to finish their three-game Eastern Conference swing with an away match at D.C. United also on May 14.

Scoring Summary:
None 

Lineups:
Colorado Rapids -- Matt Pickens, Marvell Wynne, Tyrone Marshall, Drew Moor, Scott Palguta, Kosuke Kimura, Pablo Mastroeni, Jeff Larentowicz, Wells Thompson (Jamie Smith 73), Quincy Amarikwa (Ross LaBauex 85), Caleb Folan (Andre Akpan 30).
Substitutes Not Used: Danny Earls, Joseph Nane, Anthony Wallace, Steward Ceus.

New England Revolution -- Matt Reis, Kevin Alston, Ryan Cochrane, A.J. Soares, Chris Tierney, Kenny Mansally, Shalrie Joseph, Stephen McCarthy (Sainey Nyassi 46), Ousmane Dabo (Darrius Barnes 74), Benny Feilhaber, Rajko Lekic.
Substitutes Not Used: Franco Coria, Kheli Dube, Zack Schilawski, Bobby Shuttleworth.

Misconduct Summary:
NE -- Chris Tierney (caution; Reckless Foul) 19
COL -- Scott Palguta (caution; Reckless Foul) 62
COL -- Jeff Larentowicz (caution; Reckless Foul) 80

Referee: David Gantar
Referee's Assistants: -Darren Clark; Brian Poeschel
4th Official: Tyler Ploeger
Weather: Cloudy-and-55-degrees
Attendance: 11,755