Coming off of three successive wins for the first time since November 2021, expectations were high heading into the Columbus Crew’s matchup against the New England Revolution. Saturday’s match failed to live up to those expectations, as substitute midfielder rSean Zawadzki saved face for the Crew with a headed equalizer in the eighth minute of second half stoppage time to earn a 1-1 and remain undefeated at home this season.
The first half was controlled by the away side. The Revolution showed no fear on the road, holding the ball and controlling possession against the Black & Gold.
There was a controversial moment in the middle of the first half when Columbus winger Alexandru Matan went down in the penalty box in the 23rd minute. Instead of awarding a penalty kick, however, center official Chris Penso gave Matan a yellow card for simulation.
Playmaker Lucas Zelaryan stung the hands of New England goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic in the 29th minute and Crew center back Milos Degenek deflected a Giacomo Vrioni shot wide in the 32nd minute but the two teams went into halftime scoreless.
A moment of confusion led to the opening goal for the Revolution in the 58th minute. A cross played into the Crew penalty area by Revolution midfielder Dylan Borrero was met by Degenek. The center attempted to clear the ball but misdirected it, hitting the ball past Black & Gold goalkeeper Patrick Schulte to put New England in the lead.
In the 65th minute, the Revs went down to 10 men after a harsh foul from Borrero. Borrero was given a second yellow card for the challenge on Mohamed Farsi, which arguably could have earned a straight red card.
In the 90th minute, a cross played into the penalty box by the Crew seemed to make contact with New England defender Andrew Farrell’s hand. After several minutes of contemplation and a VAR check, the referee decided against awarding a penalty, as Farrell’s hand was in a reasonable position by his side at the time of contact.
The Black & Gold were finally able to capitalize on New England’s red card in the eighth minute of stoppage time. Farsi passed the ball to a waiting Zelarayan at the edge of the 18-yardbox. Zelarayan played a cross into the penalty box which was met by the head of midfielder Sean Zawadzki, who directed the ball past Petrovic toward the left corner of the goal.
Schulte once again put in a strong display in goal, making eight saves throughout the match. The keeper was called to action numerous times Since his MLS debut in the season-opening 4-0 loss against the Philadelphia Union, Schulte has only conceded 2 goals in his previous four matches.
Although it took until late in the game to score an equalizer, it was not as if the Crew was not creating chances. Zelarayan had numerous chances from outside the box, most of which were just wide of the mark. Defender Mohamed Farsi was once again a crucial playmaker from the wing and took on New England defenders frequently, but the Black & Gold waited until the very end to find the back of the net.
The Crew plays its next match away against Charlotte FC on Saturday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. ET.
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