The crucial sequence began when Revolution midfielder Matt Polster fouled just outside the center circle. Wilfrid Kaptoum touched Carles Gil, who sent Bye a through ball on the right wing. Buksa turned Eloy Room past Jonathan Mensah for his second goal of the season.
The revolution started strong with their first victory over Columbus, which recently dropped the nickname Crew since 2017.
In the first few minutes the Revolution came close to the headers of Polster and Bye from Gil-Feeds, then Gil’s near-foot was touched by Room from the right post in the 32nd minute. In the second half, Columbus midfielder Artur sent a right-footed foot from the left post (62nd) and a minute later revolutionary striker Teal Bunbury fell in the penalty area against Waylon Francis, referee Robert Sibiga, to continue the game.
The substitutes for the Revolutionary Sports Director / Head Coach Bruce Arena paid off when Tajon Buchanan threatened on the right wing, Kaptoum held midfield positions along with Polster and Buksa entered in the 83rd minute with Gustavo Bou at the helm.
Most of the Revolution’s games went on the wire, three of which were marked by controversial late-game referee decisions, including the Union tie and a 2-0 loss to Nashville SC on May 8.
“I’m disappointed that we don’t have two wins. We should have won the game in Philadelphia,” said Arena about the last three games. “It’s our fault, although the office takes a little responsibility, but we have to take on more than that. We should have finished the game and won. If we did you would look at the week and say it was a pretty good week, and when you look at it you would say it was okay. We played three of the better teams in the Eastern Conference and were moderately successful. “
Observations from the game on Sunday:
▪ Arena believed the central midfield revolution was surpassed when it fell to Columbus in the playoffs. This time Lucas Maciel and Polster met Columbus’ Artur and Darlington Nagbe. Columbus was missing from MLS Cup MVP Lucas Zelarayan (injured) and coach Caleb Porter replaced Artur, right wing Luis Diaz and leading goalscorer Gyasi Zardes late in the game. “We were definitely better there than in Columbus in December,” said Arena. “I think they have one of the best midfielders in the league. You certainly missed your # 10 [Zelarayan]. I thought in December we were dominated in the middle of the field tonight. It was a much more competitive fight. “
▪ Buchanan and Gil continue to foul dangerous parts of the field. But the revolution struggled to threaten set pieces – until Buksa converted after a quick free kick against the crew. On the decisive goal, Bye made a strong run down the right and accepted Gil’s pass before he delivered a low cross. Columbus struggled on his left wing and ended the game with substitutes on this side of the field. Left wing Derrick Etienne Jr. appeared injured before being replaced by Liam Fraser in the 67th minute. Porter removed left defender Waylon Francis, who was involved in a collision with Teal Bunbury in the penalty area in the 63rd minute and received a warning in the 71st minute.
▪ The Revolution has wasted several late game crosses with missing open goals in the last two seasons. Bye, who nearly set up two key assists early last year, has regained his lead after being slowed down by injuries late last season.
▪ Arena is still experimenting with the bou-buksa combination. Arena considers both “No. 9s ”, hold strikers who play back with the goal, put teammates out of the wings and can finish. “We have played [Bou] as Double Nine with Adam at the beginning of the season. I thought he did a good job. He held up the ball and watched the goal against a team that is really difficult to play against. “
Buksa said: “We get on very well. I love to play [Bou] because he’s a good player. In my opinion, having us both on the field at the same time is a good solution – that’s the best solution. “
▪ The revolution seems to be gaining depth as it improved to 3-0 at home. Jon Bell started in central defense for the second year in a row. “I thought last year that was an area where we had a weakness,” said Arena of central defense. “The only way to do this, to develop that, I think, is to give that position some rotation and give some players games.”
Frank Dell’Apa can be reached at [email protected].