After surrendering an early three-goal lead, Toronto FC came back to clinch a critical victory by defeating the visiting Los Angeles Galaxy 5-3 on Saturday at BMO Field.
Jonathan Osorio’s 75th-minute strike put Toronto ahead for good, with the Canadian international converting a cross into the middle from teammate Marky Delgado. The goal was Osorio’s 10th of the season, continuing the midfielder’s breakout campaign.
The match initially looked like an easy night for the home side, as Toronto led 3-0 after just 36 minutes. Toronto’s attacking front line of Victor Vazquez, Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco each found the back of the net, with all three goals aided by some shaky defending from the Galaxy.
A goal-of-the-year candidate by Zlatan Ibrahimovic put Los Angeles (10-11-8, 38 points) on the board just before halftime. Midfielder Jonathan dos Santos lofted a long pass into the box in the 43rd minute, and Ibrahimovic performed a full spin while back-heel kicking the ball into the net. This spectacular finish was Ibrahimovic’s 17th goal with the Galaxy, and the milestone 500th goal of his senior club and international career.
Ibrahimovic’s wonder goal sparked the Galaxy’s attack, as suddenly it was Los Angeles capitalizing on Toronto’s defensive mistakes. In the 54th minute, a Galaxy free kick found Ola Kamara with plenty of room inside the Toronto FC box to simply head the ball out of the air and over the line.
Just four minutes later, the Galaxy got the equalizer from an unlikely source. Ashley Cole crossed from the left side of the box and found fellow defender Rolf Feltscher racing in the other side. The goal was Feltscher’s first for L.A., and just the third score of his 12-year professional career.
Jay Chapman scored the final goal of the night, icing the game for Toronto FC (8-14-6, 30 points) four minutes into stoppage time.
Dominic Kinnear couldn’t turn around the Galaxy’s slump in his first game as head coach, as L.A. dropped to 0-4-3 over its last seven games. Saturday’s match marked yet another defensive breakdown for the club, as the Galaxy have now conceded 16 goals over their last three losses.
The victory allows Toronto FC to stay afloat in the Eastern Conference playoff race, still nine points behind Montreal Impact for the final spot in the East’s postseason bracket.
—Field Level Media