The LA Galaxy hit the road trying to take on the elements just as much the Chicago Fire. However, playing in not the best conditions cloudy, rainy, and very windy weather with temperatures in the 30s on Saturday afternoon.
The biggest thing starting the game for the Galaxy was winning the coin toss, so they could have the wind in their favor and at their backs. It would work out well with a goal from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and LA Galaxy held off the Chicago Fire 1-0 at Toyota Park.
Ibrahimovic scored what was the game-winning goal in the later stages of the first half after making his first start with LA Galaxy. He scored the goal in the 46th minute in injury time. Ashey Cole set it with a pinpoint service in front of the goal and he headed it into the back of the net.
The Galaxy followed a game plan that worked in tough conditions getting three points over a week ago.
“We were short a lot of players and we knew it would be a different game from the standpoint of the wind and the conditions with it,” LA Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid said. “We had a disappointing result last week and it showed us our character to come back and played a zero at the end of the day.”
The Galaxy had a couple of goals taken off the board early in the first half, because of offsides in each situation, in the sixth and again in the ninth minute.
However, LA had to deal with going against the wind in the second half and was able to keep Chicago away from scoring. Galaxy keeper David Bingham maintained a clean sheet by making 4 stops.
“Obviously, we weren’t sure what (Chicago) was going to come with in terms of a 3-5-2 or a 4-3-3 but they came with a 3-5-2,” Schmid added. “So we told our midfielders if they come that way then they have to come inside and help our midfield defend our central guys. They wanted to play into the wind and that was difficult.”
Chicago (1-3-1, 4 points) had its game plan set up dealing with the wind and a strong attack from the LA Galaxy. In some cases, it did work out since the Fire only allowed just one goal.
“It was a good game and very good execution of the plan,” Chicago Fire coach Veljko Paunovic said. “All of our guys did well and I’m proud of their mentality. Just a small mistake decided the game.
Obviously, the (Galaxy) have a quality and converged for an opportunity. But for me the most important thing the team is growing and getting better. We have more game now. We also create opportunities I’d like to see more and see us score more goals. I think we’re getting closer.
“Our plan was built on doing our job well and doing it better than them. That’s the step forward but nobody is happy with the result and nobody is happy with the mistakes we made. We will fix it.”
The Fire did have it’s the largest crowd of 21,915 for a regular season game at Toyota Park.