LA Galaxy's Sigi Schmid: "The guys really pulled together" after red card

MONTREAL – Zlatan Ibrahimovic getting sent off in the first half for slapping an opponent in the back of the head was not a scenario that augured well for a first win for the LA Galaxy in five games.

And yet the Galaxy managed to hold off the Montreal Impact in the second half long enough for Ola Kamara to score for a fourth straight game to give LA a 1-0 win at Stade Saputo on Monday.

Kamara said the Galaxy resolved to keep the game scoreless and regroup at halftime after Ibrahimovic was shown a red card 41 minutes in after a Video Review of the incident with Impact right back Michael Petrasso by referee Ismail Elfath.

“We said clean sheet and we said we’re probably going to get one or two chances on set pieces and then maybe we’ll get one or two in the game,” Kamara said. “We were going for the counterattacks, shutting them down, and we were able to do both.”

Ibrahimovic swatted Petrasso after the Montreal defender appeared to step on the Swedish superstar’s foot. Petrasso was given a yellow card after the review.

“His big toe got stepped on pretty good,” LA coach Sigi Schmid said. “I’m a little confused whether, if he got stepped on, then he hit the guy, so it seems to me in the order of fouls the stepping occurred first so I don’t know why it’s not a PK. And if they’re saying that the step was accidental, then why did they give him a yellow card? So it makes no sense; if you give him a yellow card it means he stepped on him on purpose, and if he stepped on him on purpose then it’s got to be a PK and Zlatan gets a red card for his reaction to it. So the sequential order I’m a little confused by.”

Kamara’s goal, set up by Emmanuel Boateng on a counterattack, gave the 10-man Galaxy their first win since a 1-0 win in Chicago on April 14, ending a four-game losing streak.

“The guys really pulled together, stayed together,” Schmid said. “We’ve been talking a lot about our defending because the last two weeks on the road we should have come out with points in both games. You know, we scored enough goals but we kept giving up goals, and we told our team that we can play to zero, we’ll find a goal somehow. And even when we went down a man we said just be patient, we’re going to bend a little bit, they’re going to have the ball but keep defending well, deal with the crosses that they send into the box and then look for our goal.”

Kamara’s fifth goal gave the Galaxy a huge boost heading into their California Clasico fixture at home on Friday against San Jose (11 pm ET; UniMás — Full TV & streaming info).

“I mean, the positive feeling in the team, we really needed that, you know, after four losses,” Kamara said. “And we need that momentum, we need that feeling, that positive vibe in the team, and I think we’ve got that now and maybe that gives us some confidence going into the next games.”