CARSON, Calif. (March 2, 2019) – Despite a crazy final week before the start of the season, the LA Galaxy win their first match of 2019. In Head Coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s debut, the Galaxy overcame a 1-0 deficit to Chicago Fire. Thanks to goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Daniel Steres.
LA Galaxy win Guillermo Barros Schelotto debut on Zlatan Ibrahimovic goal
The Galaxy were the better side in the first half but found themselves down a goal. They got off to a good start with header chances from Daniel Steres and Romain Alessandrini.
In his Chicago debut, forward C.J. Sapong opened the scoring. He attacked the ball on a lazy back pass by Uriel Antuna. He found himself in on goal alone, rounded goalkeeper David Bingham and scored. Przemyslaw Frankowski nearly doubled the advantage minutes later with a shot that went off the post and was cleared.
Steres leveled the match with a goal in the 68th minute with a thumping header off a cross from teenager Efrain Álvarez. The teams traded chances as the game opened up with both going for a winner.
Finally, the Galaxy found a winner in the 80th minute. Chris Pontius made a great run into the box and chipped a ball off the post. Unmarked, Ibahimovic headed it towards goal near post, appearing to bounce off goalkeeper David Ousted and in. The match ended 2-1.
Three big takeaways:
Zlatan is King: It wasn’t his most spectacular goal nor one where he was the one who initiated the goal. Still he was dangerous all night all while being the main focus of the Fire defense.
Fire capitalize on mistake: The Fire had several good scoring chances in this game, most of which involved them being aggressive when the Galaxy were being passive. Sapong capitalized on a mistake to score. Their other best chances came from taking shots when the Galaxy gave them space to work.
Both teams still a work in progress: Both of these teams still have issues to work on after missing the playoffs last year. In particular, the defenses have to improve.