CARSON, Calif. (AP) — Daniel Salloi and Johnny Russell scored five minutes apart in the second half to lift Sporting Kansas City over the Los Angeles Galaxy 2-0 on Sunday night.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic came on as a substitute in the 62nd minute but could not repeat the heroics from his MLS debut last Saturday, when he helped rally the Galaxy from a two-goal deficit to defeat LAFC. Ibrahimovic had three shots on goal from distance and earned a corner when Sporting KC put his cross out of play.
“I think they wanted it more than us,” Ibrahimovic said. “Losing 2-0 at home is not good. Last game we were losing 3-0 at home, so we need to focus more from the beginning and be more stable in our game and be more hungry from the beginning.”
Ibrahimovic had a breakaway in extra time, but defender Ike Opara recovered in time to pressure the Swedish forward so his shot was not on target.
“He’s not going to work miracles every time he steps on the field,” Galaxy manager Sigi Schmid said. “He forced the goalkeeper into some saves. He’s still getting his full touch and fitness back, so each week hopefully will be a little bit more that we can play him.”
Russell sliced through two defenders and beat goalkeeper David Bingham 1-on-1 to the far post in the 61st minute for his second goal.
Sporting KC went up 1-0 in the 56th minute when Jonathan dos Santos headed a corner down and an unmarked Salloi put it in at the near post. It was Salloi’s first goal of the season.
The corner came when Bingham tipped Graham Zusi’s long free kick over the bar after Daniel Steres received a yellow card for pulling down Khiry Shelton.
Schmid criticized the Galaxy for not playing with the necessary intensity until after they had conceded, and Ibrahimovic said he would do his part to remedy the issue.
“If they are not hungry, I will make sure they will be hungry,” Ibrahimovic said.
After increasing his workload from playing just over 20 minutes against LAFC to being on the pitch for more than 30 minutes against Sporting KC, Ibrahimovic expects to be fit enough to start in the Galaxy’s next match at Chicago on Saturday. Ibrahimovic sustained a major knee injury in April 2017 while playing for Manchester United.
“We need to step it up day-by-day, we need to be intelligent, but I feel ready. I feel good,” Ibrahimovic said. “Next game probably I am there from the start, so let’s see. It depends on the coach, what he is thinking and what he wants.”
The Galaxy had two of their three designated players back in the starting lineup, with Romain Alessandrini and dos Santos both returning from hamstring injuries. The Galaxy’s other designated player, Giovani dos Santos, missed his third straight match because of a hamstring injury.