CARSON, Calif. (March 31, 2019) – The LA Galaxy have been an inconsistent team this season. They’ve had trouble at times since losing their star attackers, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Romain Alessandrini, on opening night. Both of them returned Sunday night, to defeat the Portland Timbers. A Zlatan Ibrahimovic panenka won the day.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Panenka Penalty Leads LA Galaxy 2-1 Over Portland Timbers
The Galaxy came out with energy and an aggressive mentality. Alessandrini and Ibrahimovic brought some good ideas offensively. Just 10 minutes in, Ibrahimovic sent the ball off the post, on a volley with his back to goal. Los Angeles created many chances throughout the first half.
The home side got on the board in the 33rd minute. Claude Dielna ran into Ibrahimovic near the top of the box and a PK was called. The Swedish International sent goalkeeper Jeff Attinella the wrong way to make it 1-0.
Jeremy Ebobisse gave the Timbers life just before halftime. The Timbers worked the ball down their right flank. David Guzman and Diego Valeri combined with Ebobisse to get through Jorgen Skjelvik and Diego Polenta to score a beautiful goal.
The Galaxy had a lot of the ball in the second half. The two sides traded chances before Ibrahimovic drew a PK in the 66th minute when Attinella ran into him in the box, with the striker falling to ground. Ibrahimovic stepped up and scored on a panenka to make it 2-1.
The Timbers got a golden chance in stoppage time with substitute Lucas Melano nearly getting on goal, but he was intercepted and goalkeeper David Bingham was able to gain possession.
The match ended 2-1.
PKs play an impact: The officiating played a massive role in this game, with Ted Unkel calling two penalties for the Galaxy for fouls committed against Ibrahimovic. Timbers supporters might be discussing the second PK as Zlatan appeared to be heading to ground and/or seeking contact prior to Attinella’s arrival.
Timbers struggles continue: The Timbers are off to a poor start in 2019. They have just one point from four games played. Their road stint while Providence Park undergoes renovation has not gone well. They need to find some way to get a result. Defensively improvements are needed.
Health stars for LA: The two best players for the Galaxy in 2018 returned to the lineup tonight. They both had an impact, with Alessandrini creating a few chances and Zlatan getting the two goals. They’ll look to build on this next game.