Third time’s the charm for the LA Galaxy. They finally held on to a two-goal advantage, defeating the Columbus Crew by a score of 4-0.
“If you win 4-0 at home, you see how happy everybody is, no one is disappointed,” Zlatan Ibrahimovic said.
“The fans are happy and it gives you a little bit more space for the next game.”
Ola Kamara opened the scoring, Ibrahimovic scored from the spot, and Romain Alessandrini nabbed two of his own off the bench.
“I think this was a strong performance defensively and offensively,” Kamara said.
“There were some great goals and a clean sheet. We can get some real good confidence from this.”
Sigi Schmid opted for five at the back once more. Jonathan and Giovani Dos Santos both started for the first time since Mexico’s elimination from the World Cup. For all the hype surrounding the Dos Santos’ departure, the brothers barely got their opportunity to shine, playing in only 48 minutes between them.
“Gio gave everything he had,” Schmid said afterwards. “And when we took him out, it was because he had left everything on the field. And I think his battle and his work today was very good.”
Schmid also placed Ola Kamara alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic and opted to rest Alessandrini.
Gyasi Zardes made his first return to the StubHub Center after the Galaxy traded him to Columbus for Kamara. However, for the majority of the 90 minutes, the former LA striker was kept in check. In the two matches that he played in Los Angeles, Zardes did not produce much of anything on the offensive side of the ball.
Kamara and Ibrahimovic Provide Spark
It took 40 minutes for the Galaxy to finally break Columbus’ defense. Jonathan Dos Santos held up possession and found Ashley Cole. Then Cole returned the pass, with JDS drifting out wide. The England-born defender continued his run into the box and crossed the ball towards the middle. Kamara was able to beat a defender and poke the ball past Zack Steffen.
Columbus looked like they had leveled the match immediately. Pedro Santos stretched the Galaxy defense and fed Gyasi Zardes with a good diagonal pass. Zardes ran to the byline and played a pass back into the danger zone. The cross hit off Dave Romney and it went into his own goal.
Giving up a goal so quick after taking the lead would have been devastating. However, the video assistant referee ruled that the whole ball had crossed the byline, disallowing the goal.
Ibrahimovic and Columbus defender Lalas Abubakar were jarring back and forth with each other all match. Abubakar brought down the 36-year-old as he attempted to win a header in the area ten minutes after halftime.
The former Barcelona striker stepped up to the spot and slotted his shot into the bottom left corner beyond a diving Steffen.
Alessandrini Shines off the Bench
At the hour mark, Kamara was taken off for precautionary reasons. Alessandrini replaced the Norwegian striker and immediately made an impact. Seven minutes after he came into the match, Alessandrini made it 3-0.
As far as Ola Kamara’s status, Sigi Schmid says that taking him out was more precautionary than anything. Kamara says he felt his calf a little bit tighter and didn’t want to risk it as he just came back from a calf sprain injury. @LAGalaxy #LAGalaxy #LAGCLB— Delmy Barillas (@DelmyBarillas) July 8, 2018
The French winger stole the ball off of Abubakar, got into space, and scythed a left-footed shot through traffic and into the net.
In the third minute of stoppage time, Alessandrini completed his brace. Chris Pontius led the charge down the pitch on a counter. Pontius then found the winger racing alongside with him and played the perfect pass into Alessandrini’s stride. The Marseille native sent a bullet behind a helpless Steffen.
The Galaxy to the East Coast on the road for the next two weeks. They will take on the New England Revolution, with a kick off time set for 4:30 PM on Saturday. Then LA faces off with the Philadelphia Union one week later.