LA Galaxy 2, Real Salt Lake 1 | 2019 MLS Match Recap
The LA Galaxy maintained their roaring start to 2019 with a 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake at Dignity Health Sports Park on Sunday evening, as Zlatan Ibrahimovic fired home a late winner to run their record to 7-1-1. The result also takes LA to 6-0 at home thus far, the first time they've done so since their inaugural season in 1996.
The Galaxy were dominant in the first half, bossing possession, creating chances and taking an early 1-0 lead via Uriel Antuna, the Mexican winger finishing into an empty net after a slick passing move keyed by Diego Polenta's jaunt forward and pass to Chris Pontius, with a helping hand from Ibrahimovic's clever dummy.
But RSL rallied dramatically after the break, mending their defensive shape and pulling level via Donny Toia, the left back alertly tapping in the rebound after David Bingham parried an Aaron Herrera shot into his path. It's just the second goal in Toia's MLS career (113 appearances), his first coming way back in 2015.
Just when it seemed the Galaxy had blown a clear path to three points, Ibra popped up with an angled close-range finish of a quality low centering pass from Sebastian Lletget, then celebrated by woofing at length at defender Nedum Onuoha, who he'd previously fouled to earn a yellow card as the two jousted throughout the match.
- 16' – LA – Uriel Antuna | WATCH
- 64' – RSL – Donny Toia | WATCH
- 78' – LA – Zlatan Ibrahimovic | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Plenty for both sides to chew on here. LA looked unbeatable at times, yet failed to convert it into a hefty lead and had to be rescued by their fired-up captain. Meanwhile Salt Lake worked hard and frustrated Ibra for long periods, only to be undone by a late letdown.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Ibra's winner is the choice here, not only for its role in bagging the victory but also for the extended dressing-down of Onuoha, who might've awakened the beast through no fault of his own.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Jonathan dos Santos continues to be the engine at the Galaxy's heart, buzzing around the field on both sides of the ball and showing his silky passing chops. He misplayed just three passes all night.