Vela double sends Ibrahimovic, Galaxy crashing out of playoffs

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Carlos Vela scored twice as Los Angeles FC (LAFC) dumped Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the LA Galaxy out of the Major League Soccer (MLS) Cup playoffs with a 5-3 derby victory yesterday.

Mexico international striker Vela took his season goal tally to 36 with two first half strikes at the Banc of California Stadium.

Ibrahimovic led a rousing Galaxy fightback, setting up a Cristian Pavon goal before grabbing an equaliser to make it 2-2.

But LAFC hit back with goals from Diego Rossi and substitute Adama Diomande to surge into a 4-2 lead. A headed goal from Galaxy substitute Rolf Feltscher raised hopes of another comeback, but Diomande’s second of the night made the game safe.

LAFC will now face the Seattle Sounders in the Western Conference Championship final for a place in the MLS Cup final.

It was a sweet victory for LAFC manager Bob Bradley.

“To see the way our guys responded when (Galaxy) got it back to 2-2 was awesome,” Bradley said. “To see our group respond the way they did was something special.”