Zlatan Scores Two in Galaxy Victory over Toronto FC
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Friday, July 5, 2019
Los Angeles, CA--- It was a vintage Zlatan performance on Thursday night, as he scored two second half goals to seal the 2-0 victory over Toronto FC.
Toronto coach Greg Vanney went with a 4-5-1 formation with Quentin Westberg in goal, Richie Laryea, Eriq Zavaleta, Chris Mavinga, and Justin Morrow on the back line, Tsubasa Endoh, Marky Delgado, Liam Fraser, Jacob Shaffelburg, and Jonathan Osorio, who returned from representing Canada in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, in the midfield, and Alejandro Pozuelo as the lone striker up top.
This was the first meeting between the two teams since last season, which was a memorable game that saw Toronto FC get the victory and Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring his 500th career goal in spectacular fashion with a roundhouse kick off a volley. LA Galaxy are in a better position in the standings this season however, the team had been struggling as of late with six losses in their last nine games.
The 38-year-old has shown no signs of slowing down especially at the MLS level; he is second in MLS scoring with 11-goals and 3-assists in 14 games played this season and is one of the most popular players in the league.
LA Galaxy did a great job creating plays and finding openings through Toronto’s defense early on in the half, but Toronto were able to get back into position and take away LA’s scoring opportunities.
Toronto would then have some promising counterattacks however; they were unable to get clear scoring opportunities on goal aside from Marky Delgado’s strike that went over the bar. Justin Morrow did a great job in pushing the ball up the wings but couldn’t link up with his teammates in the central attacking positions with his crosses. These missed opportunities on the offensive end showed that Jozy Altidore’s presence was missing in Toronto’s attack as he usually takes advantage and scores on those type of opportunities.
The back-and-forth play between the two teams carried over into the start of the second half in that both teams had scoring opportunities but were unable to capitalize; Alejandro Pozuelo had taken advantage of LA’s defender being out of position during a Toronto free-kick and went for a quick strike on goal, which was stopped by goalkeeper David Bingham, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic had an opportunity from a cross, but Richie Laryea’s coverage forced Ibrahimovic to quickly strike the ball on goal instead of taking his time, which resulted in Westberg making the save.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic would finally get his team on the scoresheet in the 75th minute, when he headed the ball past Westberg following a perfectly placed cross from Efrain Alvarez. Ibrahimovic wasn’t done there as he would score his 13th goal of the season and second of the game in the 89th minute when he received a through ball that left him all alone to strike the ball past Westberg, which was a goal he has scored plenty of times around the world.
Ibrahimovic’s goals would seal the win for the LA Galaxy and get his team back to their winning ways in the MLS Western Conference. Fortunately for Toronto FC, they will have some reinforcements with the return of designated players Jozy Altidore and captain Michael Bradley as well as newest signing Omar Gonzalez, who will surely provide an upgrade on defense.
Photo and Video Credit: Toronto FC and LA Galaxy (@TorontoFC and @LAGalaxy)