Ola Kamara wins Victoria Day game for LA Galaxy after Zlatan Ibrahimovic red card

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MONTREAL, QC - MAY 21: Los Angeles Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic (9) kicks the ball in the air during the LA Galaxy versus the Montreal Impact game on May 21, 2018, at Stade Saputo in Montreal, QC (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

MONTREAL, QC. (May 21, 2018) – Despite going down a man in the first half, the LA Galaxy got a result to go their way, ending their four-match losing streak. After a first half Zlatan Ibrahimovic red card, Ola Kamara scored the winner for the Galaxy against Montreal Impact.

Ola Kamara wins Victoria Day game for LA Galaxy after Zlatan Ibrahimovic red card

This game was an exciting affair from the opening whistle. In front of a sold-out Stade Saputo for Victoria Day, the Impact came out with energy looking for a goal. Captain Ignacio Piatti led the way for the Impact, creating chances and winning corners. On the other side, the Galaxy attack was lead by Ibrahimovic, Kamara, and Romain Alessandrini.

The match was turned on its head in the 41st minute. After Michael Petrasso appeared to step on Ibrahimovic’s foot from behind, the first time Galaxy Captain slapped Petrasso in the face. Both went down and the game was stopped. After consulting VAR, head official Ismail Elfath gave Ibrahimovic a straight red for hands to the face and gave Petrasso a yellow.

The first half ended scorelessly with Montreal having the better of the chances.

The best chances for the home side came back-to-back beginning in the 54th minute. First, goalkeeper David Bingham had to a make a fingertip save on a fantastic volley from Alejandro Silva off a cross from Piatti. Moments later, Bingham again had to make a stop on a blast from Raheem Edwards from outside the box.

Los Angeles relied on the counter down a man in the second half, getting the good look they needed in the 75th minute. Emma Boateng got the ball in the final third and headed it forward to Kamara. The forward ran through defenders to collect the ball, rounded another, and beat Evan Busch running across goal.

The Galaxy held on in the final minutes and the match ended 0-1.

Three takeaways:

Lack of leadership: Ibrahimovic wore the Captain’s Armband for the Galaxy with Ashley Cole suspended for this game. While his presence in the attack was felt in the first 40 minutes, his actions on the red card are inexcusable. Based on precedent in MLS, that was going to be a red. He put his team in a tough position and that’s not good enough for a player of his caliber.

Impact floundering: This is the third straight loss for the Impact and sixth loss in seven. They haven’t scored a goal in those three games. Against organized and conservative teams at Stade Saputo, the Impact are lacking ideas in how to break them down. The offensive plan seems to be “get the ball to Piatti and hope he does something.” They’ve had injuries in defense, but manager Remi Garde had his work cut out for him right now.

Galaxy get what they needed: It wasn’t pretty, but the LA Galaxy get their first win in five matches. The team has cried foul on bounces and officiating going against them as well as defensive mistakes. In this game, they got a bounce in Boateng’s header to Kamara and the defense was just good enough. This was just what the doctor ordered.

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