Galaxy down Minnesota to book all-LA clash at MLS playoffs - GulfToday

Galaxy down Minnesota to book all-LA clash at MLS playoffs


LA Galaxy’s Sebastian Lletget (17) kicks in a goal against Minnesota United goalie Vito Mannone during their MLS match. Associated Press

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s Los Angeles Galaxy beat Minnesota United 2-1 on Sunday to book a blockbuster Major League Soccer (MLS) playoff clash with Los Angeles FC.

Sebastian Lletget and Jonathan dos Santos scored to give the Galaxy a 2-0 lead that proved enough despite a late goal from the Loons in St. Paul Minnesota.

Ibrahimovic’s dazzling regular-season campaign that included 30 goals in 29 games has given rise to speculation he could be headed away from MLS, with Premier League and Serie A clubs circling.

But the former Manchester United and Paris St. Germain star’s North American campaign isn’t over yet and although he didn’t score Ibrahimovic will get a post-season shot at LAFC and Carlos Vela -- who set the single-season goal scoring record with 34.

After a disjointed first half, Galaxy opened the scoring in the 71st when Ibrahimovic’s close range shot deflected off Michael Boxall and Lletget was there to fire in the rebound.

Four minutes later, dos Santos fired one past Vito Mannone to make it 2-0.

Jan Gregus gave Minnesota hope with an 87th-minute strike, but the hosts ended up the only team to lose in the first round of the MLS Cup playoffs. The Galaxy, five-time winners of the MLS Cup, will take on their cross-town rivals on Thursday in the latest edition of the El Trafico rivalry.

The winners will take on the winners of Wednesday’s match between the Seattle Sounders and Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference final.

In Philadelphia, Mexican midfielder Marco Fabian scored the winning goal in extra time as the Union edged the New York Red Bulls 4-3.

Philadelphia notched their first MLS Cup playoff win to book an Eastern Conference semi-final on Thursday against defending champions Atlanta United. The winners of that match will play either Toronto or New York City FC for a spot in the MLS Cup Final.


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