There were two very different emotions emanating from the Montreal Impact and Columbus Crew SC benches after Wednesday night’s game as the Impact pulled off a surprising 2-1 upset of the former Supporters' Shield leaders.
For Thierry Henry and the Impact, the win represented their biggest performance since the team started playing matches on U.S. soil after the MLS is Back Tournament. After going winless in their last five games, Montreal stood tall and found their second win in 12 all-time games at MAPFRE Stadium.
The Frenchman thought that the win was good for the spirits of a team that has endured plenty in recent weeks having to relocate to New Jersey for home games. Beating one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference was a sign that there may be better days to come for the Impact.
“We’re trying to keep working and going on a little winning streak would be nice,” Henry said. “But this win is good for the mind because, once again, we’re heading back to a hotel and not our homes.”
HIGHLIGHTS: Crew SC 1, Montreal Impact 2
Nevertheless, Henry remained cautious and said he wouldn't let his players get too high after grabbing all three points in Columbus. For him, this game is only as important as the next one.
“I believe in what I see. Today we had a good game and we need to carry on doing that. It’s always a good one when you win at the end,” Henry said. “Could it have been better? Yes, obviously. But we had a solid game against Toronto and then we couldn’t capitalize on that, so let’s keep our feet on the ground.”
On the home bench, Columbus boss Caleb Porter thought that his club dropped points in a game in which they absolutely should not have. “Unfortunately, it happens in MLS," he said. "You see these results, but if you want to be a team that’s fighting for trophies at the end, it can’t happen.
“I firmly believe that those things happen when you’re not in the right mindset,” Porter continued. “This is your classic MLS result where the team at the top of the table plays the team at the bottom of the table, little trap game you see it all the time, and we’re better than that. The best teams don’t lose this game.
Porter added that he didn’t want to make the game about the play that led to Bojan’s game-winning penalty. The Catalan was taken down in the box but the play was not initially ruled a penalty. After Video Review the decision on the pitch was overturned and the penalty awarded. Porter, however, disagreed with the referees.
“I don’t want to make the game about that situation. Today wasn’t about that call,” Porter said. “You can watch it, you can look at the rules. If you read the rules it says it’s supposed to be clear and obvious to overturn. We’ve now had two games where we’ve had calls overturned that, in my opinion, were not clear and obvious.”
Porter and the Crew have high hopes for the rest of the MLS season and dropping points at home will mean a tighter race for the Supporters’ Shield. With a win against the New England Revolution, Toronto FC now lead the Shield race. The Crew now sit third, only one point in front of their next opponent, Orlando City SC.
“Now we have to recover in three days, go on the road and then play one of the best teams in the league,” Porter said. “We have to make up for today, because when you don’t take care of business at home against teams you should beat, you have to do it the hard way. The guys are gonna have to go and grind on the road, we have a bunch of games on the road, and we’ll have to make up for this.”