FOXBOROUGH, MA - The New England Revolution and the Colorado Rapids played to a 0-0 draw at Gillette Stadium Saturday night in a match that will leave the home side ruing missed chances. The weather threatened to put a damper on proceedings but, in the end, the 11,755-strong crowd could only look on helplessly as their heroes failed to capitalize on the opportunities they were presented.
The first half breezed by with relatively little happening of note as both teams fought to impose their will on the match but were largely unsuccessful. The first quarter of an hour or so consisted mostly of tidy defensive work in midfield that were unable to translate into potency in the attacking third.
New England had the first major chance of the match in the 15th minute. A long, dangerous free kick from Chris Tierney found the head of Ryan Cochrane, but the man with the legendary mustache couldn't keep his header down and it only clipped the top of the crossbar.
More after the jump.
Tyrone Marshall had a half chance from a corner 13 minutes later, but his header was way too high. In the 30th minute, Colorado lost Irish international striker Caleb Folan for the rest of the match due to injury. In the play leading to Marshall's chance two minutes earlier, Folan had come up lame after winning the set piece off of Tierney. Andre Akpan made his way onto the pitch for the forward, with the Rapids later announcing Folan's injury as a groin strain.
Akpan nearly had an immediate impact. In the 32nd minute, just two minutes after coming on, he unleashed a twisting screamer from outside the box that Reis had to be at his best to parry over the bar. Akpan had another good chance in the 38th minute when a poor Kevin Alston touch resulted in a giveaway, and the Rapids striker dribbled into the box before firing a low shot well wide of the far post.
Akpan had the final chance of the half when he dispossessed Chris Tierney in the corner of the area, but his low shot was wide of the near post and didn't trouble Matt Reis' goal.
The Revolution had the better of the play in the second half. Steve Nicol chose to introduce Sainey Nyassi for Stephen McCarthy, moving Benny Feilhaber more central in hopes of creating more of a wide threat and concentrating the creativity in the midfield.
Early going was similar to the first half, featuring no real excitement. The Revs had a halfhearted shout for a penalty turned down when Mansally went down in the 48th minute. He was challenging for a header on a very dangerous far-post cross from Nyassi and look like he took a slight push, but referee Dave Gantar was well-positioned and made a good call. Nyassi unleashed an incredibly speculative left-footed shot from way out in the 54th minute that wasn't troubling anybody.
Things got very interesting in the 57th minute when the Revs earned a corner and Mansally shaped to take it. His delivery was excellent and found the dreadlocked head of Shalrie Joseph all alone at the far post. The captain's header was quick and well-targeted, but Matt Pickens fell to his right and made an incredible one-handed punch save to deny the Grenadian the breakthrough goal.
New England had the next chance of the match as well. Benny Feilhaber played Sainey Nyassi to the byline, and the Gambian winger slipped it back to the USA international with the goal at his mercy. Feilhaber, however, put his effort off the crossbar when he really should have scored.
Colorado only threatened once, from an 89th minute long-range strike by substitute Jamie Smith that only just cleared the crossbar. New England provided the final drama, however, on a breakaway. Sainey Nyassi was clear on the right and cut into the byline, bearing down on goal from a tight angle. He took his shot despite Pickens having it covered, and it was smothered by the keeper who then dove on top of the rebound. Rajko Lekic was open at the far post and he argued fairly obviously with Nyassi after the play while Pickens received treatment.