The Columbus Crew produced a solid defensive display to push its unbeaten run to six matches with a 0-0 draw at the New England Revolution.
There were plenty of opportunities for both sides to break the deadlock in the opening half, but Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum produced three fine saves to repel the Revs. Neither side could muster the same attacking menace in the second half to engineer the decisive goal.
Robert Warzycha's side retained its two-point edge on the Revolution in the Eastern Conference standings, while New England emerged with its second straight home result after a 2-0 victory over Chicago on June 2.
Both sides found plenty of room to attack during an open first half, but the Revs will wonder how they concluded the stanza on level terms after squandering several gilt-edged chances.
Benny Feilhaber started the trend inside the opening minute after he dragged wide in the wake of good work by Lee Nguyen and Saër Sène. The U.S. international midfielder then created a one-versus-one chance for Jose Moreno after 15 minutes, but Moreno's first touch took him wide and permitted Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum to snuff out the opportunity.
Columbus contributed plenty to the opening period of the game – Milovan Mirosevic forced Matt Reis into a low save and Eddie Gaven scuffed an Emilio Renteria cross inside the first 12 minutes – and enjoyed more possession than their counterparts.
Gruenebaum, however, continued to see more action than he would have liked. He reacted well to push a Sène drive off the bar after 29 minutes before blocking a near-post Fernando Cardenás drive eight minutes later to ensure the sides went into halftime at nil-nil.
Much of the neat attacking play dissipated after the break as both sides adjusted to the first half and closed out the game a bit.
Columbus mustered the better of the opportunities without finding the necessary breakthrough. Emilio Renteria directed his effort wide from a promising position after 65 minutes, while Nemanja Vukovic unleashed a long range shot that didn't particularly trouble Reis.
Nguyen and A.J. Soares nearly claimed late winners for the Revolution, but the winner did not arrive as the Crew extended its unbeaten run at Gillette Stadium to seven matches
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Andy Gruenebaum||Assured all night, made a number of key saves to keep score even in the first half|
|2||Kevin Alston||Active all evening long on the right flank, put in a few dangerous crosses and accountable defensively|
|3||Milovan Mirosevic||The crafty Chilean created a few dangerous chances for his teammates and tested Reis with a long-range drive|