Galaxy can’t hang on to lead, settle for a tie against Minnesota
In the sixth minute of stoppage time, Zlatan Ibrahimovic wasn’t going to get goal No. 500. But he thought he had a chance for goal No. 499 from the penalty spot when he went down in the box.
The officials, who had let Minnesota’s late equalizer stand after appeals for offside, said no.
Seconds later, the referee blew the whistle, ending the Galaxy’s meeting with Minnesota United in a 2-2 tie Saturday night at StubHub Center.
“Obviously, the video referee has better angles to see it than I do, but where I was I thought it was a PK [penalty kick],” Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid said.
The Galaxy opened the scoring in the seventh minute when Romain Alessandrini played a short pass to Ibrahimovic, who, surrounded by three defenders, slid the ball back to the French winger. Alessandrini knocked the ball past Collen Warner before firing a shot from distance into the bottom corner.
Barely more than 15 minutes later, the game was over for Alessandrini. He pulled up during a Minnesota attack and went to the ground holding his right leg before limping off the field.
The Galaxy had by far the greater share of first-half possession, much of it in Minnesota’s half, and came close to doubling their lead on multiple occasions. In the 32nd minute, Ola Kamara slid a pass beyond the reach of Michael Boxall to put Giovani dos Santos one on one with the goalkeeper, but Dos Santos’ effort to chip goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth was wide. In first-half stoppage time, Ibrahimovic played a pass from near halfway to set Chris Pontius free behind the defense but his shot was saved.
The best of Minnesota United’s first-half opportunities came from Angelo Rodriguez, who broke into the box but was stopped by a Dave Romney slide tackle.
Minnesota equalized midway through the second half when Darwin Quintero took the ball down the left wing and crossed from the byline. Michael Boxall had his back to goal when he met the cross, but looped a glancing header over David Bingham and into the net.
With 15 minutes remaining, substitute Sebastian Lletget received the ball on the right wing with Minnesota’s Rasmus Schuller and Eric Miller nearby. Neither challenged Lletget as he cut into the box, where he curled a shot in.
Ibrahimovic had a chance at goal No. 499 with an 80th-minute free kick that bounced off the crossbar and back into play.
With seven minutes left, Minnesota tied score. Ibson played a pass to Abu Danladi behind the defense on the right wing. Danladi squared the ball to fellow substitute Romario Ibarra, whose shot high into the open net bounced off the crossbar before going in. The Galaxy protested, believing Danladi to be offside, but the goal stood.
In the final minutes, Minnesota’s Francisco Calvo received a red card.
“In a way it feels like a loss,” Lletget said. “Thinking we were going to win and then the late equalizer and then the penalty, it really does feel like a loss.”
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