Revolution

BSJ Match Report: Columbus 2, Revolution 0 – Zardes, Crew deny Revs’ 13th straight unbeaten home opener

(Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

FOXBOROUGH — All you need to know about the Revolution’s 2-0 loss to Columbus Crew SC Saturday afternoon in quickie form, complete with BSJ analysis and insight:

HEADLINES

Zardes’ brace flummoxes New England: Columbus striker Gyasi Zardes, who came into Saturday’s contest with four career goals against the Revolution, added two more to grab the Crew’s first three points of the season. In the first half, Pedro Santos, unchallenged by the Revs’ midfield, laid a pinpoint accurate cross onto Zardes’ noggin, wheeling behind Michael Mancienne to dive and beat Brad Knighton in the 26th minute. Then with time winding down in second-half stoppage time, late sub Hector Jimenez, after Zach Steffen had sent a boomer downfield, fed Zardes, and he slotted home. Game, set, and match, and down goes the Revs’ 12-season home opener unbeaten streak.

Revolution unable to break down organized Crew defense: We mentioned it in our film review: Columbus plays a solid 4-4-2 that maintains its shape. That was an obstacle for the Revs to overcome when it came to being industrial in setting up goals — and on Saturday, they had difficulty in getting their passes into the box meet the foot of a teammate. Checking the tally books, Carles Gil had six passes in, with only one successful; Cristian Penilla (2/0), Teal Bunbury (2/2; one went through the mouth of goal with no one at the back post to knock it in, but he did have 3 key passes in the game), Juan Agudelo (1/0), Diego Fagundez (4/2, 1 key), Brandon Bye (6/1), and Edgar Castillo (2/1) all had passes into the box. Seven of those connected. Not good.

Lineups practically the same for Match Day 2: With the exception of Mancienne's return to the XI following his lower back trouble from a week ago, Brad Friedel elected to go with an unchanged starting group from the season opener. So, too, did Columbus manager Caleb Porter with his group from a week ago; former Revs top draft pick Patrick Mullins started on the bench for the Crew.

Rennicks, Buchanan make MLS debuts: With neither Penilla nor Agudelo getting anything going in the Banner End (Agudelo’s hold-up play was good in the first 10 minutes, but after that disappeared; Penilla had to deal with a trap over on the flank and only got free once), Friedel looked toward Fagundez and Justin Rennicks to replace the pair, respectively. Rennicks, who signed a Homegrown contract in January, got onto his horse quite a few times as he tried to unlock Columbus over on the right in the second half, and had one shot that went into The Fort. Tajon Buchanan came in for Scott Caldwell in the 81st, and he motored into the channel during his 10-minute debut and had one shot that went askew in the waning moments of the normal 90.

TURNING POINT

It became harder for the Revolution to get, at the very least, a point out of this one after Steffen guessed rightly on Diego Fagundez’s 59th-minute penalty. Fagundez scores there, you have to think that the intensity gets higher as New England goes for a winner.

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