Both the Columbus Crew and Chivas USA struggled to put together geniune scoring chances on Saturday night, as the two teams ended in a scoreless stalemate in front of 13,385 fans at the Home Depot Center.
With the result, Columbus remain winless against Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center since the Rojiblancos' inaugural season in 2005, and the Goats earn their first shutout of the young 2011 season.
Chivas USA had the lion's share of the possession for much of the match, but both teams struggled to create any threatening chances, relying primarily on counter attacks to create offense.
The Rojiblancos' lineup saw only one change from the team that picked up a draw against Toronto FC last weekend, as Zarek Valentin returned from international duty with the US Under-20 team and resumed his role starting in central defense.
It was a difficult match for the returning defender, who routinely found himself the focus of attacks by the Crew.
It was Valentin, however, who stopped the Crew’s first opportunity of the match in the 58th minute with a last-gasp clearance that prevented a breakaway by Crew attacker Emilio Renteria.
After having the Rojiblancos in their end for much of the first half, Columbus’ attack came alive in the second half. The visitors had their best scoring chance in the 74th minute, when Eddie Gaven had his breakaway shot steered wide by a finger tip save from Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.
The best opportunity for Chivas USA came in the 79th minute, when Alejandro Moreno took the lead on a quick Goats transition. Moreno found Justin Braun, who then crossed the ball to midfielder Nick LaBrocca, whose shot was right at goalkeeper William Hesmer.
The Rojiblancos had one last opportunity to get on the score sheet in the 90th minute of play when Heath Pearce fired a header off a corner kick, but Hesmer was up to the task and sealed the scoreless draw.
Columbus Crew -- William Hesmer, Sebastian Miranda, Julius James, Chad Marshall, Rich Balchan, Eddie Gaven, Dejan Rusmir, Kevin Burns, Robbie Rogers, Emilio Renteria (Tommy Heinemann 78), Emmanuel Ekpo (Dilly Duka 72).
Substitutes Not Used: Jeff Cunningham, Josh Gardner, Andy Iro, Justin Meram, Andy Gruenebaum.
TOTAL SHOTS: 6 (Eddie Gaven 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Eddie Gaven 1, Emilio Renteria 1); FOULS: 16 (3 tied with 3); OFFSIDES: 7 (Emilio Renteria 3); CORNER KICKS: 5 (Eddie Gaven 5); SAVES: 2 (William Hesmer 2)
Chivas USA -- Dan Kennedy, Michael Lahoud, Zarek Valentin, Heath Pearce, Ante Jazic, Nick LaBrocca, Ben Zemanski, Jorge Flores (Victor Estupinan 80), Justin Braun, Marcos Mondaini (Gerson Mayen 68), Alejandro Moreno.
Substitutes Not Used: Andrew Boyens, Francisco Mendoza, Mariano Trujillo, Michael Umana, Zach Thornton.
TOTAL SHOTS: 5 (5 tied with 1); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (3 tied with 1); FOULS: 22 (Justin Braun 4); OFFSIDES: 1 (Nick LaBrocca 1); CORNER KICKS: 4 (Nick LaBrocca 2); SAVES: 2 (Dan Kennedy 2)
CHV -- Marcos Mondaini (caution; Reckless Foul) 35
CLB -- Julius James (caution; Reckless Foul) 55
CHV -- Zarek Valentin (caution; Reckless Foul) 59
CLB -- Kevin Burns (caution; Reckless Tackle) 64
CHV -- Jorge Flores (caution; Reckless Foul) 65
CLB -- Sebastian Miranda (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 81
CHV -- Nick LaBrocca (caution; Reckless Foul) 86
CHV -- Michael Lahoud (caution; Tactical Foul) 87
Referee: Yader Reyes
Referee's Assistants: Peter Manikowski; Claudio Badea
4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal
Time of Game: 1:49