CARSON, Calif. — The LA Galaxy watched two home points slip away when Minnesota United rallied twice from deficits for a 2-2 draw Saturday night, and rued the results of two controversial decisions that went against LA in the final minutes.
The first enabled the Loons to pull even on Romario Ibarra's 84th-minute goal and the second denied the Galaxy (10-6-7) a penalty kick deep into stoppage after Miguel Ibarra appeared to knock down Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the Minnesota box. If one or the other goes LA's way, they could have claimed all three points.
“It's disappointing,” said Sebastian Lletget, whose goal in the 73rd minute gave the Galaxy a 2-1 advantage. “We've been here before [on Video Review decisions]. We just have to overcome it and focus on the next one.”
It was a fiercely disheartening game for LA, which in the first half lost Romain Alessandrini, who scored a superb seventh-minute goal, to an apparent knee injury and at halftime pulled off Giovani dos Santos with a unspecified leg injury. Both are unlikely for Tuesday night's StubHub Center clash with Colorado (10:30pm ET | TV & streaming info), and team reps said Ibrahimovic was feeling ill after the match.
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Alessandrini has a goal or assist in six successive games and has netted six goals and four assists in his last eight outings. Dos Santos, who missed last weekend's loss at Colorado with a hamstring injury, had been playing his best soccer of the season since returning from the World Cup.
“It obviously hurts [to lose them],” head coach Sigi Schmid told MLSsoccer.com. “Romain's been playing really well, and he's an important part of our team. Gio has had little aches and pains all year. Those continue. I'll know more [about their situations] tomorrow.”
Abu Danladi, who fed Ibarra's strike, was edging up against offside position when he collected the ball on the right flank, and although LA wasn't happy with the non-call, it was another, in the 96th minute, that incensed them. Chris Pontius chased a ball on the right to the byline, sent it to the other side of the box, and Ibrahimovic went sprawling from contact by Miguel Ibarra as the ball arrived.
“That was crazy,” Lletget said. “When we all saw it, we thought it was a penalty. I know [Miguel Ibarra] doesn't fall on top of Ibra, but he gets in the way of Ibra. If that doesn't happen, Ibra probably scores. Or at least gets a shot on target. Who knows?
Schmid thought Minnesota got away with overly physical play on Ibrahimovic, who played a more withdrawn role to exploit space around holding midfielder Collen Warner and nearly tallied in the 79th minute, when he hit the crossbar with a 23-yard free kick.
“I know he's a big guy and he's a physical guy, too, but that doesn't mean you can just roll into him,” Schmid said. “That was an issue for me. I felt the repetitive fouling didn't get called, so that was an issue, and at the end, is that a PK? That's for them to decide. It looks like [Ibrahimovic was run over], but, obviously, other people thought different.”