FOXBORO — The New England Revolution continue to take points, albeit one instead of three.
The Revolution had every opportunity to take the three points, too.
The Revolution were held scoreless through 90 minutes of their MLS match with Nashville SC Saturday at Gillette Stadium, having to settle for a “nil-nil” stalemate.
“I think it’s a common denominator how teams play us in Gillette,” Revolution coach Bruce Arena said of Nashville flooding the defensive zone. “They drop off. They play in a low block and they make it difficult. And technically, we were not good enough, In the second half, there were some opportunities to get a goal and win the game and we failed to do that.
“We weren’t good in the attacking third of the field.”
The Revolution are now unbeaten over their past four (2-0-2) outings, as goalkeeper Matt Turner has allowed merely one goal over the 360 minutes. Turner surpassed his personal season record (2018 and ’19) for shutouts with his sixth clean sheet of the season.
“We’re going to come back into a lot of games in the next month-and-a-half to two months,” defender Andrew Farrell said of New England returning Wednesday to Foxboro for a match with Toronto. “I think we got into a rhythm. I think we kind of know what kind of team we want to be and what kind of team we are. We’ve got a lot of depth and guys are getting back healthy.
“With guys coming off the bench, our starters doing well and putting in a good shift, we got a good team here. We’ve got to take every game one at a time. We’ve just got to be ready and I think we’re prepared.”
New England held a 17-3 advantage in shots on Nashville, but only five shots were on target. Nonetheless, the Revolution completed 86 percent of their passes, virtually doubling Nashville in passes, 611-322.
New England also had a 12-3 advantage in corner kicks and owned possession of the ball 66 percent of the time, but still left the field scoreless and with only one point.
The Revolution (5-3-7) played with a steely resolve defensively against Nashville, which entered the match with just one road win this season.
“I think it was important. In games like those, it’s just like if they get one or two chances, and you’ve got to be ready for those,” Farrell added. “If we turn the ball over, or if it’s like a deflection, set pieces, or little moments like that in a game. We just could have a lapse in concentration for one second and we’re down 1-0 in a game where I think we were the better team, and we probably should have gotten more goals early on.
“We all were focused. We did well to match their intensity, match their fight, and that quality came through at the end there.”
“I think we did a good job,” Farrell added.
“We knew they were going to be a team that was going to try to wait until they had one chance or one set piece, and we just wanted to be in the game,” Farrell continued. “ We really wanted to win this game and we knew they were going to be a team that was going to sit back, and we got a lot of possession.
“I think our midfield did a great job in that aspect of coming and finding the ball, moving the ball well. I think we did a full 90-minute effort.”
And yet with three points there for the taking, New England was held scoreless for the seventh time this season.
“We were okay,” Arena added. “I mean, our passing can be better. We played well out of the back. We got into the attacking third of the field. We weren’t clean enough. We couldn’t beat enough players in one-on-one situations when we had a look at the goal. We weren’t clean.
“So, there are parts of the game that are okay. And other parts that certainly need to get better.”
The weeks are dwindling in the MLS season, and Arena knows the value of finishing close to the top, if not at the top of the standings.
“We understand what we’re going to face,” Arena added of the challenges. “Of course it’s frustrating not getting a goal. These kind of games, you need to try to get an early goal. An early goal makes that game look different. And the first half certainly wasn’t good enough in that regard. We had some chances in the second half and failed to execute.”
The Revolution (5-3-7), sixth in the Eastern Conference, host first-place Toronto FC (9-2-4) on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Gillette Stadium.