COLUMBUS, Ohio -- In a match that seemed certain to end in a scoreless draw, the Columbus Crew had their hearts ripped out in front of a crowd of over 19,000 at Crew Stadium after allowing two stoppage time goals in a 2-0 loss to Eastern Conference foe New England Revolution as the two battled to catch Houston for the final conference playoff spot.
A Jose Goncalves header in the first minute of second-half stoppage time gave New England the late lead; Diego Fagundez added the goal that sealed the defeat moments later. The goals came on the heels of multiple Crew attacking moves, and the team was stunned at the loss after the match.
"These goals weren't goals where they broke us down or anything like that," midfielder Wil Trapp said. "It was just a set piece and one bad giveaway. That's the most frustrating part, I'd say."
With 19 attempts on goal, over 53 percent of possession, and even a late shot that looked to be a certain goal, the team once more found themselves on a losing end of a game they felt they deserved.
"It's tough; it's not easy to take," midfielder Ben Speas said in the sullen locker room after the match. "We were pushing, we felt like we had a good rhythm, we felt like we were the ones that were hopefully going to get [the goal]."
Speas came on as a substitute for the injured Aaron Schoenfeld in the 34th minute, and provided the Crew's closest moment to a goal with a bending rifle of a shot from the corner of the penalty area in 89th minute. The effort was close enough to make the crowd cheer for a moment, and even Speas expected it to hit the target.
"It would have been nice," he said. "I thought it was going in. It just bent right at the last second. It was unfortunate. I thought I took it well. I wish it would have gone in."
For the Crew, the loss was yet another disappointing home showing. The team has scored only one goal per match in 10 home games, and has a 3-4-3 record in Crew Stadium, but coach Robert Warzycha says the team isn't playing any worse at home.
"I would say [the team has had] bad results, not bad games," he said. "Most of the times we've outplayed the teams we've played here. Whether it's Montreal or other games, I think we played pretty good."
The Crew will have to wait three weeks to improve on their home record when they host the New York Red Bulls on Aug. 10. Their next match is at Toronto FC next Saturday.