New England Revolution manager Bruce Arena has lamented the number of chances his side missed during their 1-1 draw with the Columbus Crew.
The Revs currently top the Supporters' Shield standings and were expected to comfortably beat the Crew who, despite winning MLS Cup last year, have suffered a wretched 2021.
Indeed, Arena's side dominated proceedings with 33 shots and 2.88 expected goals compared to just six and 1.07, respectively, from the Crew.
But some incredible profligacy in front of goal meant only seven of those shots went on target while only one found the net, with Adam Buksa equalising just four minutes after Gyasi Zardes had put the visitors in front.
Speaking to reporters after the match, Arena admitted his side should have won comfortably.
“Yeah, that’s a game we should win. No question about it. Yeah, that should have been a three-zero game," he said.
Arena then said he'll turn the Revs' wastefulness into a positive, hoping his players learn a valuable lesson from the performance with the playoffs quickly approaching.
“There was a lot of good decisions. Some poor decisions. We just wasted our chances," he added. "We did a sloppy job on their goal. Give [Gyasi] Zardes credit for finishing it.
"There are some mistakes there that our players made tonight, that we talk about all year. This is a good – I wouldn’t call it a wake-up call – it’s a good lesson for them, because all these little things we have to get right, if we want to be a team in the postseason that can win games.
"So tonight, our players know, and they’ll be reminded again tomorrow, some of the things they need to do better. And if we did those little things better today, we would’ve won the game.”
Full-back Brandon Bye missed a chance in the closing moments of the match with his header going straight into the hands of goalkeeper Eloy Room. Bye took responsibility for his miss, but also admitted the whole team could have done better on the night.
“Yeah, I think everybody had chances tonight, guys that need to step up and that’s the way it goes sometimes," he said. "Wishing I would have put that one in the last ten seconds of the game away. But it happens, and we just have to be cleaner next time.”
But Bye did also point out the fact that New England are creating so many opportunities should be taken as a positive moving forwards.
"I think every game we look to win and that’s the way it is," he added. "Anytime we drop points is a little bit disappointing. The positive is that we created a lot of chances tonight. I think that’s going to bode well for us down the road.”
Despite the draw, the Revs remain 15 points clear at the top of the Eastern Conference and ten points in front in the race for the Supporters' Shield.
New England travel to the Chicago Fire on Wednesday night.