CARSON, Calif. – The cardiac kids were at it again on Sunday night.
Once more, the LA Galaxy needed a furious comeback led by Zlatan Ibrahimović to earn a 4-3 win over Orlando City SC to extend their unbeaten run to nine games.
Defensive issues that have plagued the team throughout the season reared their ugly head again in the first half, but a hat trick by Ibrahimović and a goal by Giovani dos Santos gave Los Angeles the win.
“I tell the team if we keep doing this, just now after the game, that I’ll be 90 by the time the season’s over. It’s great for the fans. It’s great for Television and all of that stuff, but it’s really hard on me emotionally," head coach Sigi Schmid said. "Zlatan [Ibrahimovic], obviously, that’s what he does. He finishes. The two headers were great, good pass from Ola Kamara on the second one, [Dave] Romney found him on that first one a little bit. But, I’m not happy that we’re always in the position that we have to come back.”
Against Orlando, the Galaxy provided the visitors with acres of space to operate, allowing midfielder Sacha Kljestan to dictate the tempo of the match. His success led to goals as Orlando exploited the Galaxy’s defense on three different occasions.
Los Angeles may be on their longest unbeaten run since the 2016 season, however, captain Ashley Cole warned that the persistent defensive errors will catch up to them.
“We have to thank Ibra. Since he’s come in, he’s scored important goals from us. Dug us out of very, very deep holes," he said. "We keep conceding silly and sloppy goals and against good teams. Against teams like Kansas City or Atlanta, we’d get punished. When you concede three goals again…consistently conceding three goals, whether you win or not, you can’t be happy.”
Despite the defensive issues, even Cole admits that there is a silver lining.
“We go into the game confident. We don’t want to concede goals, and we want to win games, we get the players to score goals…but then we concede sloppy, silly goals," Cole said. "It’s difficult. It’s hard to swallow. I stand here in a bad mood, but at the end of the day we won the game, and we’re climbing the standings.”