Baring a monumental and historic collapse, the New England Revolution should cruise to the Supporters’ Shield and could still do so in record-breaking fashion.
Although the Revs are 10 points clear of Sporting Kansas City in the Shield race with eight games remaining, there are still reminders that they aren’t quite yet the finished product and can't rest on their laurels.
The Revs squandered multiple chances to score multiple goals and were left “frustrated” by the final result.
“It’s a good lesson for them, because all these little things we have to get right if we want to be a team in the postseason that can win games,” New England head coach Bruce Arena said. “So tonight, our players know, and they’ll be reminded again tomorrow, some of the things they need to do better. And if we did those little things better today, we would’ve won the game.”
Veteran midfielder Tommy McNamara said it’s a lesson better learned late in the regular season than when the postseason comes around.
“It was a very frustrating night not to come away with three points,” he said. “We played well up until the final pass or the final moment and couldn't get the second goal. We just weren’t quite sharp enough. It is what it is. These things happen.”
Arena said it should have been “a three-zero game” had his team not “wasted our chances" – and the numbers certainly back up that assertion.
The Revs held 61 percent of possession and fired 33 shots (seven on target) toward Columbus goalkeeper Eloy Room, plus took 16 of the game’s 18 corner kicks.
Conversely, Columbus had six shots, putting two on frame, including Gyasi Zardes’ opening header in the 58th minute. Adam Buksa leveled four minutes later, but that was the only goal New England got on a night where they dropped points at Gillette Stadium for just the third time this season.
“We just need to make sure that we're prepared to be ruthless in these games and in this final end of the season where teams are desperate, desperate, desperate for points and into the playoffs you need to be ruthless,” McNamara said. “When you get chances, you need to take them and you need to put the game away when you have them, and on the flip side, you can't give nothing away. And so it's a lesson for us to be ruthless in moments.”