Major League Soccer: Los Angeles Galaxy tie against Minnesota

The Los Angeles Galaxy dropped two leads Saturday night as the Minnesota United Loons came from behind twice to earn a 2-2 draw on the road at StubHub Center.

A controversial no-call from an apparent trip on Zlatan Ibrahimovic inside the box was the focal point in stoppage-time as referee Baldomero Toledo kept the whistle in his pocket.

Sebastian Lletget scored Galaxy’s second go-ahead of the night in the 73rd minute but the winger’s strike was pegged back by Romario Ibarra’s equalizer in the 84th to earn the Loons a share of the points. The point moved Galaxy one spot forward in the Western Conference to fourth place to provide positivity.

The Galaxy went ahead after just seven minutes when winger Romain Alessandrini arrowed in a low shot past Minnesota goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth from 30 yards out. The Frenchman’s give and go with forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the right side slipped the winger into space outside of the box which gave Alessandrini the green light to unleash an accurate effort.

The goal was Alessandrini’s fifth in the last six matches with Ibrahimovic continuing his streak of assisting or scoring in his last eight games. The Frenchman’s fortune would run out 14 minutes after his goal as a right calf injury would see him replaced by midfielder Chris Pontius in the 20th minute.

The rest of the first half saw Minnesota lunging for tackles often in attempts to disrupt Los Angeles’ rhythm. A couple of Giovani dos Santos chances as well as a well-combined opportunity by Ola Kamara and Ashley Cole which were failed to be converted meant the visiting side were lucky to go into the dressing room only down by one goal.

In the stands, a thunder stick giveaway provided the fans an extra noise level which got louder in the second half. But the claps would quel 20 minutes into the period when defender Michael Boxall latched onto a cross from forward Darwin Quintero. The defender met the cross at the first post with a powerful header that went past Galaxy goalkeeper David Bingham.

Lletget’s go-ahead would go on to lift the Galaxy and its crowd but a breakdown in the left side of the defense allowed Minnesota winger Abu Danladi to streak into the box and whip a low cross for Romario to tap in from close range with just six minutes left.

With seconds left in the game, the Galaxy pressed for a late game-winner but when Lletget’s cross came towards Ibrahimovic at the top of the six yard box, the stadium erupted in annoyance as their star forward was brought down in the box right before pulling the trigger. Referee Toledo was unimpressed and decided to wave play-on instead of rewarding a penalty.

In the end, Los Angelinos more than likely see it as a missed opportunity at a victory that slipped twice. The two points cost them a chance to sit third place but the point received put them ahead of cross-town rivals Los Angeles Football Club which lost 2-0 to Sporting Kansas City on the same night.