Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a brace late to complete a miracle comeback by the LA Galaxy, overcoming a LAFC team that had destroyed Sigi Schmid’s side in the opening half.
Right off the bat, LAFC put out a high press that gave Sigi Schmid’s team fits. After a few minutes of sustained pressure, Carlos Vela found himself open on the right side of LA’s box and struck a textbook left-footed curler in the upper 90 of David Bingham’s net.
Vela completed his brace in the 25th minute off another ruthless counter-attack: The El Tri regular accepted the ball on a breakaway and simply dribbled around a flopping Bingham before chipping a delicate dink over several Galaxy defenders that kissed the bar and crossed the line. Two world class strikes.
Without the Galaxy’s DPs, LA did not pose a threat in attack nor were they able to transition effectively. LAFC had them pinned and they knew it. Minutes into the second half, a Latif Blessing cross resulted in a Daniel Steres own goal, and all seemed lost.
Then, the comeback.
First the Galaxy pulled one back off a turnover in the 61st minute, with Servando Carassco winning a ball in the midfield and finding Sebastian Lletget from close range. After Chris Pontius beat a LAFC defender to a diving header in the 73rd minute, the electricity around the building was palpable.
Four minutes later, substitute Zlatan Ibrahimovic pulled a rabbit out of his habit, punching a 45-yard volley over a helpless Tyler Miller to tie the match.
Then in stoppage time, Ashley Cole found himself on the left flank and curved a cross into the path of Ibra. Ibra did the rest, winning a header that went around Miller and in.
The best match in MLS history. It just happened.