By Tim Peterson
(Carson) – Sebastian Lletget’s goal in the 81st minute proved to be the game winner as the Galaxy held on to beat Minnesota United FC 3-2 Saturday night before a capacity crowd at Dignity Health Sports Park.
Lletget took a picture perfect pass from Uriel Antuna and punched it by Minnesota goalkeeper Vito Mannone for a 3-1 Galaxy lead. It proved to be more than just gravy but instead the deciding goal six minutes later when Minnesota’s Angelo Rodriguez scored on a rebound.
The Galaxy, which had dominated the game for the majority of the action was able to hold off Minnesota the rest of the way for the win.
The Galaxy played well despite playing shorthanded as they were without Zlatan Ibrahimovic (ACL injury) and Romain Alessandrini (hamstring).
“After last week’s game in Dallas we weren’t happy that we lost and we knew we had to be ready for Minnesota,” said Galaxy Coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto. “I was happy with the way we played especially early. Sure we would have liked to have Ibra (Ibrahimovic) but we adjusted without him.”
LA was on the attack early as Schelotto indicated as it had a shot on goal two minutes into the game. In the ninth minute Jonathan dos Santos’ had an attempt but it was deflected wide.
Jergen Skjelvik’s shot was hauled in by Mannone in the 13th minute. 10 minutes later Chris Pontius had a golden opportunity but his header sailed wide.
In the 28th minute another Pontius shot off the head flew high over the net. Minnesota United had an opportunity in the 30th minute but the boot was high.
The Galaxy broke the scoreless tie when Antuna was tackled in the box by Osvaldo Alonso in the 34th minute setting up a free kick for dos Santos. After a replay the penalty was confirmed and dos Santos drove it home in the 36th minute for a 1-0 lead.
Five minutes later a great dish by Rolf Feltscher was picked up by Pontius who converted in front to make it 2-0.
Two minutes of additional time were added in the first half, but nothing more came across as the Galaxy took the two goal lead into the break.
LA outshot Minnesota United 14-5 in the first half and had 6 shots on target compared to 4 for Minnesota.
The first yellow card of the game was issued in the 60th minute on Minnesota’s Miguel Ibarra for a foul on Antuna.
Minnesota United cut the lead in half in the 75th minute when Jan Gregus’ long range boot was mishandled by David Bingham and slipped in the net.
However the Galaxy answered six minutes later when Lletget took advantage of a the dish by Antuna and knocked it home to give LA what was seemingly a commanding 3-1 lead.
But Minnesota had one last push. They responded as Rodriguez scored on a rebound shot off of a header by Abu Danladi to cut the advantage to 3-2 in the 87th minute.
Four minutes of additional time were added but the Galaxy held on.
LA ended up with 20 total shots for the game while Minnesota had 15.
The Galaxy improved to 2-1 with the victory while Minnesota United FC dropped to 2-1.