Carlos Vela finally got what he wanted – a win over Zlatan Ibrahimovic in El Trafico. His LAFC defeated and eliminated LA Galaxy in the Western Conference semifinals tonight, beating them 5-3.
It was a wild match at Banc of California Stadium and the most efficient El Trafico in history with 8 goals. The fans saw everything, which makes one MLS game great – goals, fierce tackles, Vela’s, and Zlatan’s magic. But in the end, Bob Bradley’s guys triumphed and deserved to advance to the conference finals.
“We’re still a young group in a lot of ways,” said Bob Bradley. “But tonight showed a lot of strong mentality I am really proud of.”
Vela scored twice for the winners, Adama Diomande also added a brace, while Diego Rossi also posted his name on the scoresheet. On the other hand, Christian Pavon, Ibrahimovic, and Rolf Feltscher all scored one goal.
Without a doubt, the best player of the league, Vela, opened this match with two goals in the first half, one after 16 minutes, and the other in the 40th to give his team a 2-0 lead. His opening goal came following a perfect shot from the left side of the box. Up until then, he already had one massive chance to beat David Bingham, but the post denied his shot.
The Mexican struck again by tapping the ball into the net after nicely avoiding the defense of the city rivals. Though it is still unclear whether was there an offside position of the former Arsenal player.
But the Galaxy responded through Pavon just one minute later. The Argentinian used Ibrahimovic’s assist to decrease the gap, and give some momentum to his team. Everything seemed much brighter for the guests who leveled in the 55th minute. The Swedish international converted one big mistake of LAFC’s defense and silenced the home team supporters, but that too didn’t last for too long.
The hosts knocked out the rivals with a blitz, which lasted for two minutes. It was Rossi in the 66th minute, and Diomande less than two minutes following that to once again bring a two-goal advantage to the Supporters’ Shield winners. From that point on, LAFC waited for their chance to seal this win, while Galaxy fiercely attacked.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) October 25, 2019
And that paid off when Feltscher scored a header 13 minutes before the end. Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s guys went all or nothing and tried to make the final push, which unfortunately for them, didn’t bring anything.
Only three minutes after the goal, Adama Diomande added his second of the night, to crush all hopes of the guests for some miraculous comeback.
“We had games (vs Galaxy) where we should have put it away, we made mistakes, and actually we did again tonight and let them back in it. But the pure determination we weren’t going down that road again, and two really good goals to go to 4-2, that part is great,” Bradley commented on the development of the match.
This is the first win for LAFC against the Galaxy in six matches, but definitely, in the most important game. Vela and the guys are now in the Western Conference finals, where they meet the Seattle Sounders on November 26 at home in Los Angeles.
Could Zlatan Ibrahimovic's last action in #MLS be… grabbing his junk and mouthing off to an #LAFC fan? Possibly. Kind of perfect in the worst possible way, I'd say. #LAGalaxy pic.twitter.com/shKTVeqm8g
— Pablo Maurer (@MLSist) October 25, 2019
Meanwhile, many wanted to know about Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s future, as he has several options on the table right now. He didn’t gave any specific answers when asked about it.
“It’s not about money. I have another 2 months [on my contract]. We see what happens…[If I stay], then MLS is good, because the whole world will watch it. If I don’t stay, nobody will remember what MLS is.”
By the way, after the game, one of LAFC’s supporters insulted Ibra, who had one vulgare gesture towards the fan while leaving the field.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.