On a warm September night in Foxborough when the Revs could have all but secured their spot in the MLS playoffs with three points, New England failed to put a tally on the board in a 0-0 draw with Real Salt Lake on Saturday. A solid showing by the defense and the usual steady Matt Turner solidify one point, but the end of the season looks to be much more interesting than Revs fans were expecting just a few weeks ago.
The Revs had two changes to their starting XI against a mostly second string RSL side on Saturday night, as Wilfried Zahibo was back in the starting lineup in place of Diego Fagundez, and Teal Bunbury made his first start since the August 24th match against Chicago. Real Salt Lake choose to prioritize their midweek tilt against the Galaxy and had eight different starters from their last game. Long time Rev Kelyn Rowe was in the starting XI for the visitors, and had a number of opportunities early on against his former club.
The Revs held 58% of possesion, but neither team put together much offense in the opening half of play. Carles Gil skimmed a shot just over the top bar in the 7th minute and Cristian Penilla and Teal Bunbury both had chances in dangerous areas in the opening 45 that they failed to convert for the home team.
The Revs saw an uptick in offensive pressure as Gustavo Bou came in for Juan Fernando Caicedo to open the second half, but it wasn’t enough fo make a difference in the end. Bou fed a pass into the penalty area to fellow second half sub Juan Agudelo in the 77th minute for New Englands best scoring chance to that point of the second half, but failed to find the back of the net.
Brandon Bye tapped a header off the crossbar in the 85th minute on a free kick from Gil, and Bunbury was a split second late getting to a ball in the 86th minute for the boys in blue as RSL goalkeeper Andrew Putna was able to smother the ball for the visitors.
Both teams had chances in the closing minutes but ultimately failed to convert as the final whistle blew on the 0-0 draw, and the Revs once against didn’t do much to help themselves in their push for the playoffs. The Revs will be doing a bit of scoreboard watching late on Saturday night as Montreal and Toronto both have matchups on the West coast that could make the Eastern conference race even tighter heading in the the final few weeks of the season. Gustavo Bou had a rare off night with a few opporunites that he failed to capitalize on as he came in as a substitute for the first time in his Revs career.
The Revs head to Portland next, as they face the Timbers at Providence Park in another game that should be looked at as a must win.