“It was massive.” Steve Birnbaum said this when asked about his team getting a 2-1 victory over the visiting LA Galaxy in front of a crowd of 20,006. They didn’t have the services of Wayne Rooney or Luciano Acosta, only one of their three new players acquired prior to the transfer window closing was on the field in Felipe Martins.
The home side were content to give up possession in favor of staying in front of a very dangerous attacking side. Which meant they had to capitalize on those counter attacking opportunities when they presented themselves.
The Galaxy took 28 shots, only four were on target. The Black-and-Red did a great job of sacrificing their bodies, blocking 13 shots. Zlatan Ibrahimovic took an MLS record 14 shots, only one of them was on target.
There have been several times this season where D.C. United struggled to start games with the right level of energy or intensity, that wasn’t the case with the group that were on the field last night. “Moxy” is a word that Ben Olen used after the game to describe what both Felipe Martins and Quincy Amarikwa brought to the group.
The home side took a 1-0 lead in the 28th minute when a goal kick from Bill Hamid was headed by Amarikwa to Ulises Segura. After taking a touch to bring the header down, Segura chipped a ball to a running Paul Arriola. Paul one timed it past the keeper.
D.C. United took a 1-0 lead into the half, but it didn’t last long once the second half began.
Three minutes in, the 48th minute to be exact is when the visitors evened things up. Off a corner, the ball was played into the box and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He took a shot but it was blocked by Jalen Robinson, the ball rolled out to the feet of Favio Alvarez. He calmly slotted a shot past Bill Hamid, the one shot that got past him all night.
In the 71st minute, Hamid made a huge reflex save on a volley from Zlatan. A minute or so later Lucas Rodriguez cleared a shot off the line to prevent the visitors from taking a lead.
D.C. United got a few chances in the 73rd minute, Arriola played it to Segura who fired a shot from outside the box on frame. David Bingham got in front of it but the shot generated a rebound, Arriola pounced on the rebound and fired a shot that Bingham also stopped. This time the ball bounced to the middle of the box and Lucas was in the right place, right time and calmly pushed the ball into the right corner.
The Black-and-Red got a much needed three points, they also have a bit more time to figure out how to utilize their new players before their road trip to Vancouver on Saturday.