By Tim Peterson
(Carson) – The Galaxy scored twice in the span of two minutes in the first half and it was enough to beat Portland 2-1 Sunday night in the 2018 MLS season opener before a sold out crowd of 25, 462 at StubHub Center.
Ola Kamara, who just missed a goal a moment before, got a nice dish from Emmanuel Boateng and pushed it by Portland goalkeeper Jake Gleeson in the 32nd minute for a 1-0 lead. Kamara used his chest to bump it into the back of the net. Two minutes later, Romain Alessandrini first hit the post on a shot and then jumped on the rebound and fired it by Gleeson for a 2-0 advantage.
Although the Galaxy had plenty of other opportunities to pad the lead, that was all they needed to start the year on the right foot. Portland had some chances as well but only one got through. In the second half Sebastian Blanco beat Galaxy keeper David Bingham from the left corner and slid it into the net.
Bingham and the Galaxy defense held up the rest of the way for the victory.
Bingham made a huge save in the first half. In the 20th minute a steal by the Timbers led to an opportunity right in front of the net but Bingham was up to the task. In the 27th minute Fanendo Adi got loose on a break away and got off a kick but it sailed wide right.
Five minutes later came the Galaxy’s two quick scores.
In the second half Boateng rushed the left side but his boot sailed high in the 50th minute. Two minutes later Giovani dos Santos blasted one at the net but again it rose high over the goal.
Bingham made a nice save on Blanco in the 58th minute but Blanco did beat him eight minutes later.
Alessandrini left the game in the 61st minute with an apparent hamstring pull and was replaced by Chris Pontius.
Dos Santos left in favor of Sebastian Lletget in the in the 72nd minute as Lletget continues to work his way back from an injury.
The Timbers had a golden chance to tie it in the 85th minute but Diego Valeri’s free kick was denied as Bingham again made the play. Four minutes of additional time were added but LA held on.
“We had enough opportunities at the other end to score another four or five so it’s still about finishing those chances,” said Galaxy Coach Sigi Schmid. “I was happy with our team effort and our willingness to battle for each other and play for each other. I thought it was outstanding.”
Next up for the Galaxy is a trip to Yankee Stadium next Sunday to face NYFC.