Sebastian Lletget, LA Galaxy Stun Minnesota United to set up El Trafico Playoff Game

Zlatan Sebastian Lletget
Photo Credit: John A. Babiak @Photog_JohnB

Saint Paul, MN.Minnesota United FC played their first ever playoff game on Sunday night to finish the first round of the 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs. They hosted Sebastian Lletget and the LA Galaxy.

Sebastian Lletget, LA Galaxy Stun Minnesota United to set up El Trafico Playoff Game

There was great curiosity going into this match. Minnesota had not looked great offensively going into this match and Darwin Quintero started on the bench. On the other side, the Galaxy had lost the final two games of the season against bottom table teams. Four center backs started along with Perry Kitchen.

The first half was unexciting relative to the other playoff games. The Loons had more of the ball and more of the chances. The took advance of space on the flanks while the Galaxy sat deep and sent long balls to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cristian Pavon.

The best chance came seven minutes into the game. Chase Gasper sent a ball to the middle of the box to a running Angelo Rodriguez. The ball somehow got through him and the follow up chance was cleared.

The second half started similarly to the first. Ethan Finlay missed a first time shot off a corner in the early minutes. With an hour gone, Rodriguez held the ball up outside the box then found Kevin Molino. Molino crossed the ball in and Rodriguez missed the header unchallenged from yards out.

The Galaxy almost accidentally found themselves in front in the 71st minutes. The Galaxy got a few players in the box and the ball out wide to Uriel Antuna. He found Ibrahimovic for the first time shot in the box. It was immediately blocked but fell to an onrushing Lletget who scored.

Six minutes later, it went all wrong for the Loons. Substitute Romain Alessandrini found Jonathan dos Santos outside the box after some slow build up. Dos Santos channeled his Gold Cup final performance with a beautiful goal to make it 2-0 and stun the Allianz Field crowd.

LA calmed down with the lead and took a few chances while shutting down a frustrated Minnesota attack. The Loons clawed one back in the final minutes, with Quintero dancing at the touchline and finding Jan Gregus open to score. The home side couldn’t find a winner though and the match ended 2-1.

Minnesota’s season is over. LA Galaxy move on for a much anticipated El Trafico playoff game. They play at Los Angeles FC on Thursday.

Three Takeaways:

Loons can’t finish: Minnesota had several golden chances in the first hour of the game. Rodriguez could have had a brace. The team that struggled to score down the stretch struggled to beat David Bingham until they had already conceded. The Galaxy on the other hand rolled the dice with four center backs on a back four. It wasn’t pretty but it worked.

Dominating the moments: Soccer is a game of moments. The Galaxy were very unconvincing throughout much of the 90. But they had a few chances to score in the second half. Sebastian Lletget and Jona dos Santos were big in those moments.

Alessandrini back in time for El Trafico: The LA Galaxy are headed for a third game against LAFC. Romain Alessandrini subbed in for his first appearance since April 19th. The Galaxy survived this game and had some good defensive moments. They did so just in time for the biggest game of their derby and season.

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