CARSON, Calif. (April 19, 2019) – The LA Galaxy have now won five games in a row and all but one match of their season. Behind goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Diego Polenta, the Galaxy defeated Houston Dynamo 2-1 on Friday night.
Diego Polenta Header Lifts LA Galaxy Over Houston Dynamo
In terms of shots and chance creation, the math was fairly even. Possession was relatively even. Houston looked to play quick passes to open up space and create mismatches with the defense. The Galaxy played the ball early and often to Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The Galaxy opened the scoring in the 31st minute. After several missed chances, Ibrahimovic was taken down in the box by former LA Galaxy right back A.J. DeLaGarza. DeLaGarza hugged Zlatan in the box and the two went down. Goalkeeper Joe Willis guess right, diving to his left, but was unable to make the save.
The first half for the home side was marred by a concerning injury. Just 16 minutes in, DP midfielder Romain Alessandrini had to be subbed out for Emma Boateng.
Houston got back in the game in the 53rd minute. Elis was bumped into by left back Jorgen Skjelvik, went down, and a PK was called. VAR appeared to take a look at the play, but the call stood. The collision did occur close to the edge of the box. Elis converted the PK despite goalkeeper David Bingham guessing which corner he’d shoot for.
The match appeared to be headed for a draw with both sides getting half chances but not converting. That changed in the 88th minute off a corner. Jonathan dos Santos sent a cross into the box. Center back Polenta separated from his marker and headed it into the back of the net. It was his first goal for the club.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) April 20, 2019
PKs all around: Two of the three goals in this game came off of PKs. In both cases, the main danger man (Ibrahimovic and Elis) for the attacking team drew the PK, took it, and converted.
Galaxy debuts: Two Galaxy players made their debuts for the club. Long rumored Giancarlo Gonzalez came off the bench at the end of the match after finally signing. Teenager Julian Araujo started and played 90 minutes, doing well at right back all things considered.
Elis leads, but needs help: Houston came into this game undefeated on the year. However, all but one of their wins was a one goal affair, against a very favorable schedule. They continue to rely on Elis and could have used contributions from their other attackers in this game.