In the thick of the Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoff race, the Montreal Impact grabbed an important 2-1 win against Inter Miami CF. Thierry Henry’s squad have been through difficult moments lately but will head into a week’s break with a sense of accomplishment.
“I don’t know if this is our biggest win but we had it at heart to answer back,” Henry said following the victory. “We wanted to get a first win at home [in Red Bull Arena] and especially to play a good game as a team.”
The Frenchman described the win as “greatly deserved.”
The Impact opened the score early with a long-distance goal from Bojan in the sixth minute. Despite a goalkeeping error from James Pantemis which brought the score back to 1-1, Henry said his squad didn’t deflate.
HIGHLIGHTS: Montreal Impact vs. Inter Miami CF
“I thought we were brilliant in the first half, up until the goal to be fair,” Henry said. “When you concede a goal like the way we conceded, the team was like: ‘Again?’ We were in total control and then we conceded a goal like that but this time instead of reacting, we acted.”
With the win, the Impact hopped over Nashville SC in eighth position of the Eastern Conference standings. Grabbing all three points was crucial for the playoff race but for Henry, above all else, getting a win after losing two straight games shook off the team’s bad mojo.
“We just needed to win,” Henry said. “Obviously the less games you have, obviously, the more it will be a must-win. Especially against a team that was right behind you but it was very important to be able to win this game for obvious reasons: The playoff run and because they were right behind us.”
Bojan was the catalyst of the Impact’s win Saturday night. The 30-year-old opened the scoring early and created Maxi Urruti’s game-winning tap-in with 10 minutes remaining in the game. After a rough start to the season, the Catalan has been a big part of the Impact’s success as of late.
“It was a massive result for us and it was really important for us to get a result before we went back home,” said center back Joel Waterman. “That was our main talking point before the game, to start off well and get a result no matter what it takes and Bojan was a massive part in that.”
The center back used the Impact’s go-ahead goal as an example of how much Bojan cares for his teammates and how that affects the squad around him.
WATCH: Bojan's opener vs. Miami
“He could have put in a couple goals in the game and he unselfishly put it to Maxi in the second half,” Waterman said. “That’s just a testament to how good a player he is, how much he’s into this team, how much he cares about his teammates and he wants them to do well just as much as he wants to do well. When you have that kind of culture and ambition as a team, the results are gonna start coming.”
For Bojan, losing Saphir Taider to Saudi Pro League club Al Ain FC was a big loss but he thinks the team can overcome this. Above everything, Bojan knows his place in the squad and trusts his teammates can return from their break in Montreal this week and keep fighting for a playoff spot.
“I believe in me, I know what I can do. I feel confident in the team and in the staff. They know what I can do and I know what they want from me. I enjoy playing football, I enjoy playing on the field and now I’m enjoying the game.”