Philadelphia Union fell 2-0 to Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday night, snapping a three-match winning streak. Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored both goals for the home side, first using Auston Trusty as an elevator to rise high and nod home the opener before finishing a penalty.
The opening phases of the match were even, with the only two shots coming from the Union well outside the box.
Things changed in the 23rd minute when Marco Fabian was forced out of the match with a left ankle injury. The Mexican international was playing as a second striker and was replaced by Fafa Picault, returning the Union to their typical 4-4-2 diamond.
In the 27th minute when Ibrahimovic nodded home a Jorgen Skjelvik cross at the back post. The Galaxy had attacked up the right for most of the half, but when Skjelvik popped free outside the box, his ball into the area was placed so only the big Swede could finish it.
Nine minutes later, Ibrahimovic doubled the Galaxy lead from the penalty spot after Dave Gantar called a foul in the box on a cross from the left. Ibrahimovic rose to meet the cross, pushing up once again on Trusty's shoulders. He fell backwards over Kai Wagner and Gantar pointed to the spot. VAR confirmed the penalty.
Cory Burke nearly pulled one back moments later when Haris Medunjanin curled a ball into the Galaxy box, but the Jamaican was ruled offsides.
In the 43rd minute, Medunjanin again played deep into the box and found Ale Bedoya at the back post. The captain got a touch back across goal but Picault couldn't nudge the ball home.
Philly began the second half on the front foot with Picault driving into the box. He couldn't get a shot off but the ball fell to Cory Burke who also couldn't get the ball out of his feet. Jamiro Monteiro began to grow into the match and he played a long pass through center that ended on Burke's feet but once again the big striker was called offsides before he finished the play.
In the 68th minute, Ale Bedoya ripped a shot just wide of the right post when he followed a play that built up the left side. Picault broke free and sought out Aaronson in the center. His pass was slightly behind the homegrown midfielder, but Bedoya was on hand to slam the ball around the goal frame.
Jim Curtin got aggressive and pulled Ray Gaddis for Ilsinho, moving Bedoya to right back as he did against FC Dallas last weekend. The Union had more attacking power up the right, but seven minutes later they were down a man after Auston Trusty was ejected for a second yellow card when he took down Sebastian Lletget outside Philly's box.
Mark McKenzie came on for Brenden Aaronson minutes later to shore up the defense and the Union sought to see out the match and counter when opportunities arise.
Ibrahimovic nearly had a third in the 88th minute when the ball came in once more from the left, but the ball was too far in front of him.
The match ended 2-0 and Philly will head home to face off with Montreal next Saturday, April 20, at 1 p.m. at Talen Energy Stadium as part of a double-header with Bethlehem Steel.