“I just [wanted] to make solid contact, whatever happens, it goes in,” McInerney told reporters.
McInerney’s sheepish grin after scoring betrayed his belief that he’d gotten lucky when he hooked Justin Mapp’s cross first-time into the far corner with his back to goal. But you make your own luck, and McInerney deserved every plaudit thrown his way after Montreal’s 3-0 win over the Houston Dynamo on Sunday night.
Head coach Frank Klopas, pleased with his team’s second straight clean sheet, lauded McInerney’s off the ball work, strong personality and willingness to track back. There was no denying, however, that it was McInerney’s offensive prowess that wowed the Montreal crowd.
“Today, he made some great runs,” Klopas told reporters after the game. “We didn’t see him in the first half early because he was looking to get behind, and I think there were moments where we should have looked to play a little more direct, because his movement is very good. He wants to score. That’s a striker.
“He might not do anything, he might not be involved in the build-up or this or that, but then – boom – one opportunity, and…”
Klopas didn’t finish his sentence, but positive terms would have followed if he’d done so. Even Marco Di Vaio, who’s scored some wonderstrikes in his career, could do nothing but raise his hands in disbelief – he’d tried to volley Mapp’s cross in himself – and applaud McInerney.
“Someone told me that he was screaming, wanting the ball, for me to leave it,” McInerney said. “I don't think he can be too mad at me.”
“[McInerney] is hot right now,” Di Vaio told reporters. “Everything he touches goes in. I’m happy for him, because he’s a good guy who worked well. We need a striker like him, who scored good goals and helped the team.”
Ultimately, for all that can be said about McInerney’s second, his opener was the one that gave Montreal the three points. It wasn’t as spectacular, though it wasn’t a particularly easy header. Regardless, it lifted Montreal from the bottom spot in the Eastern Conference.
“The players had to step up today,” McInerney said. “We had to get three points. I was fortunate enough to be on the scoring end. Our defense held the zero, and midfield did a good job getting us the ball today.”
All he had to do then was to make solid contact, and go in it did.