By Tim Peterson
(Carson) – A week after Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the Galaxy stunned LAFC with four second half goals to pull out a victory, there were no such miracles this time. Sporting Kansasa City scored twice in a five minute span in the second half to shut out LA 2-0 Sunday night before 25,846 at StubHub Center.
Ibrahimovic once again didn’t enter the match until the second half, this time in the 62nd minute, and although he did create a buzz and had his chances, the Galaxy couldn’t get anything across.
After a scoreless first half, Daniel Salloi broke through for Kansas City as he punched one by David Bingham in front of the net for a 1-0 lead in the 56th minute. Five minutes later Johnny Russell split two Galaxy defenders and found the net for a 2-0 advantage. That turned out to be the last goal of the night.
“Our defending wasn’t good on the two goals that we took, especially the second one. There was a massive difference in our effort in the last 30 minutes versus the first 60,” said Galaxy Coach Sigi Schmid. “We have to play to play the first 60 like we do the last 30.”
The Galaxy had several opportunities. Jonathan dos Santos had a shot that was stopped by Kansas City goalkeeper Tim Melia seven minutes into the game. Chris Pontius hit the post on a header in the 36th minute and Ashley Cole had a shot tipped by Melia into the right post in the 43rd minute of play. Also Ola Kamara fired one wide left two minutes prior to Cole’s attempt.
Romain Alessandrini had a chance to break the scoreless tie early in the second half but his blast was caught by Melia.
After Kansas City scored its pair of goals, Ibrahimovic came on and pumped some life into LA. Alessandrini hit the post above the head of Melia in the 67th and Jergen Skjelvik was halted right in front.
Ibrahimovic was stopped twice on long distance blasts by Melia and he also had a break away kick go wide left in the 83rd minute. Three minutes of additional time were added but KC held on for the shutout.
“He was ok. He’s not going to work miracles every time he steps on the field, but certainly he forced the goal keeper into some saves,” Schmid said of Ibrahimovic. “He’s still getting his full touch and fitness back so each week hopefully it will be a little bit more that we can play him.”
The Galaxy fell to 2-2-1 with the loss while Kansas City improved to 4-1-1.