CARSON, Calif. – Joe Corona and the LA Galaxy desperately needed points after losing midweek. They took on Sporting KC who were also below the playoff line.
Joe Corona Opens LA Galaxy Account in win
Felipe Gutierrez opened the scoring in the first half after the Galaxy had several chances. Against the run of play, Gerso found Gutierrez with space between the center backs to score.
After knocking on the door, the Galaxy finally found a goal in the 32nd minute. Matt Besler was called for a penalty with a cross going off his hand in the box. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was denied by goalkeeper Tim Melia on the PK. Melia dove to his left to make the save, but directed the rebound back to the middle of the field. Ibrahimovic ran to the ball unopposed and tapped it into the open net.
Joe Corona found the go-ahead goal and opened his account in the 48th minute. The Galaxy were passing the ball around the box and sent a cross for the second time to Ibrahimovic, who let it go for Cristian Pavon. Pavon crossed the ball to the front of goal for Corona who found space and scored with his head.
Three minutes later, Zlatan scored, back-heeling the ball to collect it between the center backs, and shooting in a tight space to beat Melia.
Antuna scored on a misplaced cross in the 69th minute with an open goal. Sebastian Lletget added two goals on headers in garbage time with Sporting’s defense putting up little resistance. Zlatan got his hat trick on a blast on a counter attack and Gutierrez shot from outside the box to hit the underside of the post and score in the 86th minute.
The match ended 7-2.
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) September 16, 2019
Goal fest: The Galaxy offense erupted in this game. Zlatan Ibrahimovic got a hat trick, Lletget scored a rare brace, and Jose Corona opened his account.
Center back break down: Defensive issues undid Sporting and probably their playoff hopes tonight. The center backs were at the center of it, with at least five of goals occurring directly from actions in the middle of the box. Normally one of their biggest strengths was completely broken down in this game.
Sporting KC wilting: With this result, LA Galaxy jump from eighth to fifth in the playoff race. With this loss, SKC are now six points below the red line with just four games to play.