For the second consecutive week, the LA Galaxy get a 3-0 victory at the StubHub Center. This time around, they beat the Vancouver Whitecaps, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring twice, and Romain Alessandrini getting one as well.
“We’re not doing it by luck or complicating. I said it last time we’re a threat for every team if we play like this,” Ibrahimovic said.
This victory was vital for the Galaxy (12-8-11). These three points put them back on the cusp of the MLS Playoffs, with only four matches left remaining. As things stand, LA sit just one point behind Real Salt Lake, who take on Sporting KC tomorrow, and three behind the Portland Timbers.
Ibrahimovic opens the scoring early
Alessandrini drove toward the penalty box after receiving a pass from Ibrahimovic. The Frenchman got tackled inside the area only two minutes into the match. Ibrahimovic stepped up to the spot and buried his shot from 12 yards out.
The veteran striker nearly got a second goal 13 minutes into the match. Ibrahimovic came within inches of hitting the target with his free kick near the edge of the box.
LA had a great chance to score their second goal of the night six minutes after halftime. Ola Kamara played a perfectly weighted diagonal ball into the path of Emmanuel Boateng. The speedy winger could not control the pass completely and scuffed his shot wide.
Galaxy score twice more in second half
A second goal did finally find its way into the back of the net two minutes before the hour mark. Ibrahimovic received the ball up field before striding forward. He dipped his shoulder to send a Whitecaps defender one way before going the other and beating the goalkeeper.
David Bingham had to be called into action 68 minutes into the contest. Kei Kamara shot low to Bingham’s left, but the Galaxy goalkeeper did well to react and preserve his clean sheet.
With 15 minutes remaining, Ibrahimovic was brought down inside the box by Vancouver defender Doneil Henry. Instead of going for his hat trick, Ibrahimovic let Alessandrini take the Galaxy’s second penalty of the match.
“He came, he asked, and I give,” Ibrahimovic told reporters on why he let Alessandrini take the second penalty.
“Like I said when I came the first day, I’m not here to do a one man show. I’m here for the team, to help them win, and we need all the players we have.
“If Romain (Alessandrini) feels confident of course he can take it. I think that was more important than my hat trick.”
Alessandrini made no mistake with his finishing, giving his side their third goal.
“For this one I just asked him (Ibrahimovic), ‘can I have this one?’,” Alessandrini said of his penalty. “And he told me first, ‘let me score a hat trick’. So I said please, and he said okay.”
Towards the closing stages of the match, Jonathan Dos Santos was getting his legs stretched out. Eventually, Perry Kitchen replaced JDS. Afterwards, both Kinnear and Dos Santos confirmed that he was just suffering from cramps and that there were no further injury concerns.
The Galaxy face a big test on the road next weekend. They will take on the aforementioned Sporting KC at the daunting Children’s Mercy Park. These two are set to battle at 5:30 PM on Saturday.