El Trafico is back and this time the LA teams will face-off for a spot in the Western Conference Final. This past Sunday night, Los Angeles Galaxy traveled to Minnesota and took care of business. An aspiring Minnesota United had the home advantage and it was their first MLS playoff ever, but Galaxy shattered the dream.
The first half saw Minnesota United take ownership of the ball possession and create a few chances that could’ve had the Loons up. At the 22nd minute of play, Romain Metanire dribbled his way through the Galaxy’s defense and sent a perfect pass to Robin Lod, who was positioned just a few feet from the goal, to take a shot that went over the crossbar and into the stands. Minnesota United created chances but couldn't finish.
The second half began in the right direction with a chance to put one on the scoreboard for Minnesota United, once again. In the 56th minute of play, Romain Metanire made his way on the flank and put an excellent cross for an attentive Angelo Rodriguez to header. The Colombian forward failed to properly connect the ball as it drifts next to David Bingham's goal.
The next five minutes would be a nightmare for Minnesota United. LA Galaxy opened up the score at the 71st minute after a deflected shot by Zlatan Ibrahimovic gets to the foot of a lone Sebastian Lletget for a shot into the net. Minnesota goalie, Vito Mannone, still got a touch on the ball, but it wasn't enough to divert the shot. In the 73rd minute, LA Galaxy would create yet another chance as Ibrahimovic got past Ike Opara and ended up face-to-face with Mannone who amazingly denied a shot most of us would have been sure would go in. A minute later the Angelinos would bury the Loons even more. With ample space, Jonathan dos Santos takes a magnificent curling shot from outside the box to net the second goal for Galaxy.
Minnesota United would come back late in the game to get one on the board, but it would prove to be insufficient as the LA Galaxy takes the 2-1 win back to the City of Angels. What does this win mean for the Blue, White, and Gold? Nothing less than the dream match against their rivals, LAFC. Tune in on Thursday, Oct. 24 to see the Banc of California Stadium host the most important LA derby thus far in the Western Conference semifinal.