Zlatan Ibrahimović scored twice in the first half and the Philadelphia Union’s second half comeback was slowed by a second yellow shown to Auston Trusty in a 2-0 loss to the LA Galaxy on Saturday night.
Ibrahimović opened the scoring in the 27th minute when he headed in a cross from Jorgen Skjelvik after starting the sequence by forcing a turnover deep in Union territory. Ibrahimović went up high to win the header and made contact with Auston Trusty on his way down.
The question of whether it was a foul or not would come under greater scrutiny when a penalty was awarded after another cross into the box to Ibrahimović five minutes later. Ibrahimović was defended by Trusty and Kai Wagner and when the ball arrived all three made contact. The penalty was confirmed by the video assistant referee and Zlatan made it 2-0 from the spot.
Fafa Picault, who replaced Marco Fabian in the 23rd minute after the Mexican international left with a left ankle injury, had a great chance to pull a goal back late in the first half. But he was unable to get on the end of a pass from Alejandro Bedoya he hit first time off a driven ball from Haris Medunjanin.
The Union came out after the break much sharper and more energetic, creating a chance seconds into the half and Bedoya had a couple other good chances, hitting woodwork on one and hitting his shot just wide on another.
Trusty was sent off with a second yellow in the 76th minute after taking down Sebastian Lleget just outside the box. He went into the book earlier in the half with a harsh challenge on Lleget near the sideline.
After being forced to burn his first sub with the Fabian injury — Fabian paired with Cory Burke to start the game so that Brenden Aaronson and Jamiro Monteiro could both play in the midfield — Curtin turned to Ilsinho in the 69th minute to replace Ray Gaddis (moving Bedoya to right back again) and had to go with Mark McKenzie with his final sub after Trusty was sent off. McKenzie’s appearance off the bench was 2018 Rookie of the Year finalist’s first of the season.
It was just the second time this season the Union have been kept from scoring and the first since their 2-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City on the road the second week of the season. With the loss, the Union’s W-L-D record fell to 3-3-1. They return home to face Montreal Impact in an afternoon game — the first of a doubleheader with Bethlehem Steel FC — next Saturday.