Real Salt Lake 1, LA Galaxy 2 | 2019 MLS Match Recap

The LA Galaxy secured a 2-1 win Wednesday night at Real Salt Lake, vaulting above the Seattle Sounders and into third place in the Western Conference standings.

The result, sparked by Cristian Pavon and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, clinched LA’s spot in the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs – marking the club’s first postseason trip since 2016. Conversely, RSL will have to wait to secure a playoff spot.

After a tepid first half, the Galaxy came to life in the 50th minute when Pavon collected a flicked-on header from Ibrahimovic. The Argentine winger squared up RSL center back Nedum Onuoha and slotted a left-footed shot past Nick Rimando for the 1-0 lead.

Pavon then returned the favor in the 80th minute, as he stole the ball from Justen Glad near the corner, dribbled towards goal and squared back for Ibrahimovic. With a one-touch finish to the far-side netting, the star striker made it 2-0. It was his 28th goal of the season.

RSL didn’t wilt away, though, as they clawed one back in the 89th minute via Onuoha. He provided an opportunistic goal, flicking home a header after an Everton Luiz long-range shot bounced high off the grass. The whole sequence followed a cleared corner kick, with Onuoha held on by David Romney.

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Real Salt Lake 1, LA Galaxy 2 | 2019 MLS Match Recap -

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  • 50' – LA – Cristian Pavon | WATCH
  • 80' – LA – Zlatan Ibrahimovic | WATCH
  • 89' – RSL – Nedum Onuoha | WATCH

Three Things

LA, winners of a record five MLS Cups, are back in the playoffs for the first time in three seasons. Focus now shifts to seeding in the West and the possibility of a postseason match at Dignity Health Sports Park. They’ve also now won three straight and could carry some serious momentum into when it matters most. For RSL, they’re winless in their last three and have just two games left to book a playoff spot. It’s not time to panic, but the opportunities for points are dwindling away.

  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The second LA tally sticks out, mostly because it gave Zlatan Ibrahimovic 28 goals on the year. It was a pinpoint finish that kept the Golden Boot presented by Audi race alive, even if LAFC star Carlos Vela leads the charge.

  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Cristian Pavon was the spark plug LA needed, providing moments of individual brilliance on both Galaxy goals. Big-name players don't always come up in big-time games, but Pavon sure did Wednesday in Sandy, Utah.

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