As the New England Revolution made their run through the MLS Cup Playoffs as the No. 8 seed in the East, they were used to being the underdog.
But they hadn't played like it in recent upsets of the Philadelphia Union and Orlando City, jumping out to early leads and forcing their foes to play catch-up as they advanced to the Eastern Conference Final.
That recipe for success -- and the results -- came to an end Sunday afternoon in Columbus, with the Crew dominating early possession, putting Matt Turner under siege, and ultimately advancing to MLS Cup 2021 with a 1-0 victory over the Revs.
The dynamic offensive attack led by Carles Gil and Gustavo Bou wasn't able to accomplish much of anything as New England dropped its first-ever playoff game to Columbus in eight all-time matches.
Though the margin was only a one-goal difference, it could have been much greater if not for the efforts of Turner, especially in the first half when he was peppered with quality scoring chances. But he was able to send the game to the half scoreless thanks to great saves on left-footed attempts by Lucas Zelarayan and Pedro Santos.
Turner was able to keep the game tied into the second half, making another fantastic stop on Gyasi Zardes in the 58th minute, only to concede the game's only score a minute later when Jonathan Mensah set up Artur with a perfect touch and he was able to sneak one just inside the post to put Columbus up 1-0.
New England's best chance came in the 28th minute when Adam Buksa's attempt went off the near post -- and despite some late chances, the Revs weren't able to notch the equalizer to force extra time.
Columbus -- which improves to 12-1-0 at home this season -- moves on to MLS Cup 2021 where the Crew will host the winner of Monday's match between the Seattle Sounders and Minnesota United FC.