Columbus Crew SC players and coaching staff alike took the result against Montreal with dissatisfaction but also with the shared feeling that the performance was a final ball or even a matter of inches from returning to MAPFRE Stadium unbeaten in the last three matches.
“We had a good game and even after they scored the goal early in the second half, I think we still created chances,” said midfielder Artur. “[Montreal] dropped deep and it was a little harder to create. I think that we needed to work on the finishing; finish shots because we miss it when it should be a goal. I think it is important to get the ball in the net.”
The good news: the Crew returns home where they’ve gone unbeaten in the last 12 matches across all competitions, including three consecutive shutouts.
Additionally, the Club’s shot conversion rate at home stands just under 20 percent, a top-10 mark in Major League Soccer.
“It’s a great opportunity with two home games. We have been playing well at home to hopefully get back on track and get points,” said head coach Caleb Porter.
Overall, Porter was happy with the way the attack performed, particularly in the first half, but expects to see more final production in the coming games.
“I counted 15 passages of play that led to a clear chance or should have led to a clear chance. That shows purpose with the possession and I don’t think there was a game where we had that many looks with our possession,” Porter said. “While we didn’t get the result, we have to keep playing like we did with the ball but do better in the final third.”
With a pivotal period of three games in eight days, including two against top-performing teams in their respective conferences in D.C. United and the Houston Dynamo, the Black & Gold have a chance to capitalize on two home games in a four-day span to reclaim the top of the table.
After last week's performance, midfielder Robinho said the level of play was solid, but it comes down to the final details - something that the Crew will look to improve come Saturday.
“I thought we played quite well. I thought we created a lot of chances,” Robinho said of last weekend’s match.
“We just could not score and get that goal. I am happy with the result. I thought that there were lots of positives in creating, but our finishing needs to be a little better.”
Kickoff on April 20 against Portland is slated for 7:30 p.m. ET at MAPFRE Stadium. Supporters can watch the match on FOX Sports Ohio, stream on FOX Sports GO, or listen on 97.1 FM The Fan or www.ColumbusCrewSC.com (English & Spanish).