MLS Review: Ibrahimovic leads Galaxy and LAFC stutter again, Martinez's streak ends due to injury

By Sacha Pisani 22 September 2019
MLS Review: Ibrahimovic leads Galaxy and LAFC stutter again, Martinez's streak ends due to injury

Zlatan Ibrahimovic continued his red-hot form after leading LA Galaxy to victory as stuttering Los Angeles FC drew again, while Atlanta United star Josef Martinez was carried off on a stretcher.

Ibrahimovic scored his 27th goal of the season to lead the Galaxy to a 2-1 win over visiting Montreal Impact on Saturday.

Former Manchester United striker Ibrahimovic broke the deadlock with a close-range finish in the 31st minute at Dignity Health Sports Park – taking the 37-year-old's tally to 11 goals in his past seven matches.

Montreal's Lassi Lappalainen equalised three minutes into the second half, however, Uriel Antuna bundled the ball home five minutes later to restore the Galaxy's lead.

Back-to-back wins saw the Galaxy move up to third in the Western Conference, while the Impact are four points adrift of the play-off places in the Eastern Conference.

LAFC's winless streak extended to five games following their last-gasp 1-1 draw at home to Toronto.

Supporters' Shield leaders LAFC looked to have succumbed to Tsubasa Endoh's 19th-minute goal as Toronto – fourth in the east – still clinched a post-season berth.

But MLS top goalscorer Carlos Vela converted a 95th-minute penalty for his 29th goal of the campaign to avoid defeat for LAFC.

LAFC are eight points clear in the race for the Supporters' Shield, though Eastern Conference leaders New York City can reduce that lead to five with victory on Sunday.

Martinez's record 15-match scoring streak came to an end after suffering a knee injury in Atlanta's 3-1 victory against nine-man San Jose Earthquakes.

The Venezuela international was forced to be substituted in the 79th minute after colliding with a team-mate at home to the Earthquakes.

Defending champions Atlanta stayed within three points of New York City thanks to stoppage-time goals from Emerson Hyndman and Gonzalo Martinez.

Elsewhere, Colorado Rapids edged Sporting Kansas City 3-2, Houston Dynamo defeated Orlando City 2-1, Vancouver Whitecaps salved a 1-1 draw with Columbus Crew, Real Salt Lake played out a goalless draw at New England Revolution, while FC Cincinnati and Chicago Fire drew by the same scoreline.

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Sacha Pisani

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