The LA Galaxy returned to the win column for the first time in nearly a month, riding a Zlatan Ibrahimovic brace to a 2-0 home victory over FC Dallas on Wednesday night in a crucial Western Conference matchup.
The breakthrough came in the 68th minute via Ibrahimovic, who capped off a sweeping passing move down the left wing. Cristian Pavon and Jorgen Skjelvik combined in open space, with the latter crossing back to Ibrahimovic near the penalty-kick spot for a one-touch finish.
Ibrahimovic then made it 2-0 in the 82nd minute from a penalty kick, as Pavon drew the opportunity after some pressure from behind by Dallas right back Reggie Cannon. The Swede stepped up to the spot and made no mistake.
Dallas seldom threatened David Bingham’s goal, though nearly opened the scoring in the 14th minute. Following a corner kick, Santiago Mosquera rocketed a shot off the crossbar that Bingham got his fingertips on.
Before LA’s big-personality Designated Player stepped up, it was an evening full of missed opportunities. Then the floodgates opened and the Galaxy’s offense clicked, sparked to life by second-half substitutes Uriel Antuna and Favio Alvarez.
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- THE BIG PICTURE: The Galaxy had to grind out this result, one that marks their first shutout since a 2-0 home win over Toronto FC on the Fourth of July. More importantly, it snapped a three-game losing skid and vaulted LA back to third place in the Western Conference standings. A shaky month has come back level. For Dallas, inconsistencies continue to define the dog days of summer. They’re 3-4-2 across their last nine matches, and now will look to close out a three-game week with a cross-country trip north of the border.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: LA’s first goal showed a glimpse of what Cristian Pavon’s potential in MLS is, as his incisive pass created the crossing opportunity for Jorgen Skjelvik. On Pavon’s debut at Dignity Health Sports Complex, he offered plenty of individual brilliance, especially in tight spaces.
- MAN OF THE MATCH. When the Galaxy need a goal, they know who to call. Zlatan Ibrahimovic now has 18 goals on the year, with his second-half brace quickly erasing the superstar looking visibly frustrated at times.