The LA Galaxy won their first MLS regular season game in 11 months, as they turned the tables and beat LAFC 2-0 in the latest edition of El Trafico at Banc of California Stadium Saturday.
The win was LA’s first of the season, but they were firmly the better team throughout, and thoroughly deserved the victory. While LAFC had won the last two El Traficos, the Galaxy picking up a rivalry win at a low point in their campaign has to taste even sweeter.
Guillermo Barros Schelotto opted to start Jonathan dos Santos on the bench, with the midfielder estimating he was able to play only 30 or 45 minutes in the days leading up to the game, while Ethan Zubak started at striker with Chicharito out of the reckoning on the day.
Zubak got to write his name in El Trafico lore in the 26th minute, as he opened the scoring with a conversion right on the doorstep off a set piece, heading in the cross after a short start on the dead ball.
Schelotto made no changes at halftime, and LA continued to be the better team to open the second half, and were rewarded with their second goal in the 54th minute. Sebastian Lletget finished Julian Araujo’s low cross to make it 2-0 to the visiting team.
Dos Santos made his return to action in the 65th minute, coming off the bench for Zubak to try and see out the game.
The Galaxy didn’t dominate possession but they had the better chances and their team defense against an uncharacteristically listless LAFC side was fantastic. After seeing this display, it’s hard to believe this was LA’s first win of the season, but with Zubak opening his account, Araujo and Cristian Pavon having terrific games, the defense posting a shutout and dos Santos getting some playing time, the bar has been set and now they need to look like this on a regular basis.
LA are back in action Wednesday, when they’ll host the Seattle Sounders in their first home game in five and a half months. This is a huge game for LA, to see if the El Trafico magic is confined to LAFC games or if the Galaxy are starting to find traction in their season. Should be a good one.
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