CARSON, Calif. (March 31, 2018) – It was a back-and-forth game in the first ever El Trafico. Los Angeles FC took a 0-3 lead, but LA Galaxy came storming back in the second half. A Zlatan brace in his debut in the second half completed the comeback as LA Galaxy won 4-3.
Zlatan Brace Rescues Win for LA Galaxy in 4-3 El Trafico Comeback
The match started off all LAFC. The visitors were dynamic and dominant on the ball and in the high press. A turnover on a pass from Ashley Cole to Emma Boateng gave Carlos Vela a chance in the 5th minute. He took a touch and curled a ball into the top corner. Then on a counter attack in the 26th minute, Vela danced around in the box and put the ball in off the crossbar. The half ended 0-2 with LAFC the better side by far.
The Galaxy came back with some good energy to start the second half, but three minutes in, a Marco Urena shot was put in by Daniel Steres for an own goal. The home side threw numbers forward down three. Sebastian Lletget scored after Servando Carrasco created a turnover. In the 73rd minute, Chris Pontius found the back of the next on a header off a pass from Boateng.
Four minutes later, Zlatan Ibrahimovic got the ball and midfield and blasted it towards goal with Tyler Miller off his line. It found the back of the net and the StubHub Center erupted. As stoppage time began Zlatan got open in the box and headed a cross into the far corner and the match ended 4-3.
Three Things to Take Note of:
Stars Present and Missing: The big boys showed up today. Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi showed their class, especially Vela in the first half. On the other side, the Galaxy were clearly missing the Dos Santos brothers and Romain Alessandrini as the were weak up the middle and took time to get their offense in rhythm. Ultinately, it was the biggest and oldest star as Zlatan who made his chances count and won the match.
Problems in the Defensive Third: Both sides had issues in transition in this game. As much as their stars showed up, collective defensive errors created chances for those stars to score.
This Ain’t Your Dad’s SuperClasico: The Honda SuperClasico was rarely a competitive derby. LA Galaxy walked all over Chivas USA. Both teams came for blood and with star power on both sides. Today wasn’t a cake walk for the Galaxy and it looks like it won’t be going forward. This rivalry on and off the field could be as good or better than the Hudson River Derby in New York.