On their 24th annual Fourth of July celebration the LA Galaxy defeated Toronto FC by a score of 2-0 in front of an announced crowd of 25,482 fans at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
The Man of the Match was forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, as he scored both goals for the Galaxy, giving him his 12th and 13 goals of the season and his first goals since June 2 against the New England Revolution.
The Galaxy were looking to bounce back after a 3-0 defeat to Northern California rivals the San Jose Earthquakes last Saturday despite missing several key players. Jonathan Dos Santos and Uriel Antuna were unavailable due to international duty and Rolf Feltscher, Sebastian Lletget and Chris Pontius were out due to injury.
The first half was fluid for both teams, as the Galaxy and Toronto worked the ball around the midfield, figuring each other out. The Galaxy nearly went ahead in the 22nd minute when defender Julian Araujo’s shot hit the right post and ricocheted to the feet of midfielder Joe Corona, whose shot was cleared off the line by the Toronto defender.
Despite several dangerous chances, neither side was able to find the back of the net in the first half.
The rhythm of the match changed in the second half, as both teams pressed harder trying to break open the scoring. Ibrahimovic did just that in the 75th minute with a header off an impeccable cross from 17-year-old Efrain Alvarez, who earned his first MLS start in this contest.
Shortly after the Galaxy’s first goal, defender Diego Polenta earned a yellow card, which will suspend him for the Galaxy’s next match — on Friday against the San Jose Earthquakes — due to yellow card accumulation.
Jul 4, 2019; Carson, CA, USA; LA Galaxy midfielder Emmanuel lBoateng (24) and Toronto FC defender Justin Morrow (2) battle for the ball in the first half at Dignity Health Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Ibrahimovic netted his second goal of the night in the 89th minute thanks to an assist from 2019 MLS SuperDraft pick Emi Cuello, who subbed in for Emmanuel Boateng in the 82nd minute. Cuello received the ball on the sideline, but rather than taking the ball to the corner to close out the match, he found Ibrahimovic making a run toward goal who was able to put it away.
Despite Toronto out-shooting the Galaxy 12-10, the Galaxy were able to maintain their shutout. Galaxy goalkeeper David Bingham came up with five saves on the night.
This match was the first in the Galaxy’s three-game home stand. They’ll host the Earthquakes on Friday and then welcome in crosstown rivals Los Angeles FC, who lead the league in points with 40 and goal differential with a plus-29 mark.