In attempt to play spoiler to the New England Revolution's playoff hopes with either a win or a draw in Sunday afternoon's 2013 season finale at Crew Stadium, the Black & Gold were the aggressors for much of the 90 minutes of play in front of the home crowd. But despite dominating in nearly every statistical category, the Crew fell short in the end to suffer a 1-0 defeat to cap-off the 2013 campaign.
A nifty give-and-go between Juan Agudelo and Lee Nguyen in the 28th minute was the difference, as Agudelo had an easy chance in front of net from Nguyen's feed. The remaining 60-plus minutes was a back-and-forth affair, but the home side was unable to find the equalizer.
"[The Revolution] wanted to score first and kind of sit back and make us take it to them," defender Josh Williams said. "Unfortunately, we couldn't get one in. Sometimes games go that way. Today, the soccer gods just weren't with us.
Though the Crew owned almost 70-percent of possession on Sunday afternoon, the Black & Gold were unable to find the net from their four shots on goal after scoring two goals on the Revolution in the second half of last week's 3-2 defeat at Gillette Stadium.
"It always comes down to what you can get done in the last 30 [yards], the final third," Interim Head Coach Brian Bliss admitted after the match. "Last week, I don't want to say we were quicker, sharper, more active, I guess. I don't know. But today, as much as we were in their end in terms of possession and crossed balls and all that stuff, we weren't as sharp and we weren't as alert. We came up short."
The second half of play saw the Crew play with three defenders for much of the 45 minutes, pushing for the leveler to no avail.
"The second half was hectic," substitute Ben Speas said. "Obviously, we were trying to push to get an equalizer. They got the first goal in the first half. I thought we had them on their heels a little bit.
"It was hectic, we were pushing at the end. We really wanted to push for that goal to tie it up, but it didn't come."
Now the Crew will train for the first few weeks of November before dispersing for the offseason. With coaching and roster decisions looming, the players most focus inwardly during post-season training.
"We have a couple weeks of training here to better ourselves," Speas said. "There are things we can't control, whether it be the coach, contracts or whatever it is. We just need to focus on bettering ourselves. This team, we had a great team and there are a lot of guys that we all enjoy.
"We all enjoy each other and have a great camaraderie."