The LA Galaxy’s lack of closing out games cost them two more points on Wednesday. They opened up a with a 2-0 lead. D.C. United, though, came back to steal a 2-2 draw.
“The first goal came from a bad clearance … and that started off the process, and then we get back-doored on a run,” Head Coach Sigi Schmid said.
“The second goal comes from us reacting and zoning too much, and just not getting to the ball … we need to get there before he gets the ball or as he’s getting the ball, and we wait until he gets the ball.”
To start out the match, the Galaxy opted to go into a 3-5-2 formation, with Chris Pontius and Dave Romney operating as wingbacks. Because of that, Ashley Cole started alongside Perry Kitchen at midfield.
Zlatan Opens Scoring Again
Against the San Jose Earthquakes this past weekend, Zlatan Ibrahimovic needed under a minute to find the opening goal. This time around, Ibrahimovic found the back of the net for the 10th time, five minutes into the contest.
Dave Romney sent a sensational ball into the box towards the far post. The Swedish striker beat Oniel Fisher and volleyed home to open the scoring.
Ibrahimovic now sits tied for fifth in the league in goals scored, while adding three assists. The 36-year-old, though, has done it in fewer games than the others in the top 10 in the league. Yes, there is a long way to go this season still, but he is living up to all the expectations that were placed on him.
Former United man Chris Pontius pulled the Galaxy ahead by two goals 25 minutes into the contest. Pontius brought down a pass with his right foot. The touch was essential because it opened up space and allowed him to use his left to send a scorcher past David Ousted.
“Pontius has been good,” Schmid said.
“We’ve asked him to play wide right in sort of a cockeyed 3-5-2. So, he’s had to run the line, do a lot of running.
He’s been good for us; he’s combined well with Ibrahimović, He’s connected a few goals with him as well, so I’ve been happy with him.”
Galaxy Can’t Hold on to Lead
But then, just like against the Earthquakes during the last match, the Galaxy’s advantage slipped away.
D.C. cut LA’s lead in half straight from kick off. Luciano Acosta danced around a couple of Galaxy defenders, before sending a diagonal through ball into the danger zone. This allowed Zoltán Stieber to race in behind the back line, open up his body, and shoot past David Bingham.
The Galaxy were hanging on for dear life late in the match. However, with five minutes remaining, Darren Mattocks found the equalizing goal. Paul Arriola rescued possession to the left of the penalty area. Mattocks was then able to scoot by three Galaxy defenders before sending his effort above Bingham.
If the Galaxy are unable to hold onto leads against two of the worst teams in the league, how are they going to get back into the playoff race? The defense cannot lose any concentration and they cannot drop points against clubs like this.
“I think we are repeating the same basic mistakes and we are getting punished for the mistakes we are doing” Ibrahimovic told media following the draw.
LA will hope they can turn one point into three on Saturday against Gyasi Zardes and the Columbus Crew. Kick off between the Galaxy and Columbus is set for 7:30 PM.