In a huge Western Conference matchup between two squads fighting for the postseason lives, Ibrahimovic scored twice to lead the Galaxy to a 3-0 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday night at the StubHub Center.
The Swedish legend put the Galaxy in front just four minutes into the game when he converted a penalty kick after Romain Alessandrini was taken down in the box by Marcel de Jong. Ibrahimovic returned the favor in the second half, drawing a penalty before Alessandrini converted the PK for his 10th goal of the season.
In between the two penalties, Ibrahimovic scored a beauty for his 20th MLS goal to push the Galaxy to within one point of the playoff line heading into Sunday’s action.
The eighth-place Whitecaps — playing their first game under acting head coach Craig Dalrymple after the dismissal of Carl Robinson — fall four points behind the seventh-place Galaxy as their own hopes to qualify for the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs continue to flicker.
- 4' — LA — Zlatan Ibrahimovic (PK) WATCH
- 58' — LA — Zlatan Ibrahimovic WATCH
- 77' — LA — Romain Alessandrini (PK) WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Although the Galaxy and Whitecaps both had rocky stretches that led to a recent coaching changes, they’re now firmly going in different directions. The Galaxy have reeled off consecutive 3-0 victories after a great showing vs. Seattle last week while the slumping Whitecaps have lost three straight. The Galaxy can still make this season a good one but is it too late for the 'Caps?
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Zlatan made sure his 20th goal would be a memorable one as he juked his way by Aly Ghazal before rocketing a shot over the head of goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Of course it’s Zlatan, who had a couple of other great scoring chances and also showed what kind of teammate he is by passing up the chance of a hat trick to let Alessandrini take the late PK.
Unlike anyone else. pic.twitter.com/8Qqvb8bxYh— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) September 30, 2018