The LA Galaxy dropped three more points on Saturday, falling 5-3 on the road against Toronto FC, days after Dominic Kinnear took over as interim manager. While they are still technically in the playoff race, the Galaxy needed at least a point to recover any kind of confidence.
“Anytime you lose, don’t get me wrong some are more heartbreaking than others, but I thought at 3-2, and we said at half-time the next goal is going to tell a lot about the game,” Kinnear said.
“So we thought at 3-2 there would be a little jump in our step and the third goal we’re happy about it. By no means is the game over and I thought we were going toe-to-toe.”
Kinnear made a slew of changes in his first match in charge. They switched to a 4-3-3 formation, with Romain Alessandrini and Ola Kamara flanking either side of Ibrahimovic. Bradford Jamieson did return to the starting lineup, and operated underneath the Swedish striker most of the time he was on the field.
Both Giovani dos Santos and Sebastian Lletget missed the match due to injury.
First Half Thriller, Ibrahimovic Scores #500
Toronto sliced apart the Galaxy defense with five minutes gone. Gregory van der Wiel got free down the right flank, getting time and space to send a dangerous cross towards the area. Neither Rolf Feltscher nor Dave Romney tracked Victor Vázquez’ run and the Spaniard headed his shot into the net.
Only 11 minutes passed when Jozy Altidore found his team’s second goal of the night. Altidore’s initial shot was blocked, but the Galaxy defense could not clear the danger. It allowed the US Men’s National Team striker to get a second attempt, and this time, he did not miss.
LA’s back line was picked apart in two passes during the 36th minute. Sebastian Giovinco turned around Dave Romney, sprinted into 18-yard-box and beat a helpless David Bingham.
It looked as if the Galaxy were dead in the water, but Ibrahimovic had other ideas. Only he would score his 500th career goal in sensational fashion. Dos Santos flipped the ball towards the box. Ibrahimovic spun around and flicked the ball stunningly past the Toronto goalkeeper two minutes from halftime.
“Of course, it’s huge,” Ibrahimovic said after the match.
“I don’t know how many have scored 500 goals in their career, but I am one of them and if would feel nicer if we win the game but still, I did it so there is nothing I will hide from.”
Galaxy Come Roaring Back, But Toronto Win
The Galaxy clawed their way back shortly after coming back from the dressing room.
In the 54th minute, Kamara headed home LA’s second goal of the night. Dos Santos sent his delivery from a free kick towards the box. The Norwegian striker got power behind the headed attempt and scored to bring more life into this match.
Then, four minutes later, Feltscher scored his first career MLS goal. Alessandrini started the move off on the right, finding Kamara at edge of the area. Kamara passed the ball towards the left, finding Ashley Cole. The former Chelsea left back sent his cross the other way and Feltscher headed his shot into the back of the net to level things at three.
Toronto would prove to be too much, though, as they found the breakthrough 15 minutes from the end of the match. An errant Ibrahimovic pass started a counter. Marco Delgado then delivered a ball that redirected off of Jonathan Osorio’s head.
Jay Chapman finished off the night with a first-time effort past Bingham in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
Time is running out for the LA Galaxy. Their next match against the Seattle Sounders next Sunday will kick off at 4:00 PM at the StubHub Center.