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Zlatan, LA Galaxy defeat Philadelphia Union 2-0

CARSON, Calif. — The LA Galaxy defeated the Philadelphia Union 2-0 on Saturday night at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. Two first-half goals by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has six goals in the four games he has played so far this season, propelled the team to victory over their Eastern Conference opponents. 

Galaxy coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto was able to go with his preferred starting XI as defender Diego Polenta rejoined the group after missing their last match due to injury. The midfield trio of Sebastian Lletget, Jonathan Dos Santos and Joe Corona started again for the Galaxy, providing a solid core to both the Galaxy’s attack and defense. 

As was speculated when Schelotto took the head coaching role earlier this year, the Galaxy have adapted a fast, offensive-minded style of play, and this match proved the team is beginning to understand and apply the concepts he’s teaching.

The Galaxy’s first goal came from a team effort, with extensive passing before defender Jorgen Skjelvik crossed the ball in Ibrahimovic’s direction, allowing him to beat Auston Trusty and bury the ball in the back of the net in the 27th minute.

The goal came just after Philadelphia midfielder Marco Fabian left the field with an apparent ankle injury. He was replaced by Fafa Picault.

The fast-paced play continued to lead to the second goal of the night for LA as Ibrahimovic drew a penalty while trying to ward off two defenders. After a lengthy Video Review, Ibrahimovic stepped up to take the kick and buried it into the side netting.

Apr 13, 2019; Carson, CA, USA; Los Angeles Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic (9), defender Diego Polenta (3) and defender Jorgen Skjelvik (16) celebrate after scoring a goal in the first half of the game at StubHub Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

For the second half, play was much more even between the two sides who each had their fair share of opportunities. An injury to Rolf Feltscher in the 65th minute brought Julian Araujo into the match, but the Galaxy backline looked like it didn’t miss a step.

In the 76th minute, the match opened up even more for the Galaxy when Trusty received his second yellow card and was ejected from the game. The Galaxy were unable to capitalize on their extra player, but instead continued to maintain possession for the majority of the match that remained. 

The Galaxy captured their fourth consecutive win and second consecutive shutout. Their next match is Friday night when they host the Houston Dynamo.

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