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LA Galaxy overpower Portland Timbers 2-1 in 2018 season opener

Kamara and Alessandrini goals lead LA to opening home victory

MLS: Portland Timbers at Los Angeles Galaxy Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Galaxy aren’t about to let LAFC steal all the attention. Capitalizing off sloppy defending from the Timbers, goals from Ola Kamara and Romain Alessandrini powered the Galaxy to a season opening 2-0 victory Sunday night at a chilly but loud StubHub Center.

Lineup 11

Both teams has close chances in the early going, notably when a Jonathan dos Santos turnover led to Andy Polo racing in alone in goal, but David Bingham dove left to make the crucial save.

LA broke through in the 32nd minute through old-fashioned direct play. Jona dos Santos lasered a cross to Rolf Feltscher on the right side of the box, and the defender re-directed a header across the goal to an open Ola Kamara who nodded past keeper Jake Gleeson for his first regular season tally with the club.

Before the Timbers could adjust, LA had already scored again. Romain Alessandrini was first to a loose ball from close-range and pulled a shot around Gleeson that clanged off the post, but again the Frenchman got there first and tapped the ball home to send the sellout crowd to 25,462 into a frenzy.

The second half was wasteful for LA, as the likes of Giovani dos Santos and Emmanuel Boateng missed point-blank chances. The Timbers found an opening when Sebastian Blanco got behind the Galaxy back four and fired a low shot from the left corner past the line to give Portland hope, but LA’s defense held firm.

The Timbers had one final chance late off a set piece right on the top of the box, but Bingham stoned David Guzman’s blast and the Galaxy would hold on to secure a morale-boosting three points at home.