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MLS Wednesday Rewind: Zlatan’s brace propels Galaxy, Timbers win, and more

Each home team earned a win across the five games in MLS action on Wednesday.

Orlando City topped Sporting Kansas City in a must-win game for both sides, Real Salt Lake earned its third-consecutive win, Portland Timbers find themselves back in the playoff mix, and Zlatan Ibrahimović got the Galaxy back in the win column for the first time this August.

Here’s a closer look at Wednesday’s MLS action:

Orlando City 1 – Sporting Kansas City 0

(21′ Akindele)

Exploria Stadium in Orlando played host to two teams trying to stay afloat in their respective conferences.

Orlando only needed one, and it came early. In the 21st minute, Carlos Ascues found an isolated Tesho Akindele, who hit it home from the center of the box for his ninth goal of the season.

The win puts Orlando in a position to potentially take control of its own playoff fate over the weekend when it travels to Minnesota United on Saturday.

Minnesota United 1 – Colorado Rapids 0

(39′ Quintero)

The home fans left Allianz Field happy as Minnesota United blanked the Colorado Rapids for its ninth shutout of the season.

Darwin Quintero, the team’s most reliable source of goals, picked up his eighth of the campaign on a clinical finish when he caught Rapids keeper Clint Irwin off his line just before halftime.

The win has the Loons looking likely for a first-ever playoff appearance in the crowded Western Conference as they finish the evening in second place in the west ahead of the weekend date with Orlando City.

For Colorado, the night puts an end to a two-game winning streak.

Real Salt Lake 3 – Seattle Sounders 0

(26′ Johnson, 71′ Rusnák, 87′ Baird)

After a rollercoaster week for Real Salt Lake, the recent run of on-field momentum continued at Rio Tinto Stadium.

It took 26 minutes to break the deadlock, and Sam Johnson did it in style after Aaron Herrera found him on the break. Johnson danced through traffic and finished with his left foot for his ninth goal of the season as an MLS newcomer.

A pair of goals from Albert Rusnák and Corey Baird in the second half secured a third win in a row for interim head coach Freddy Juarez. The loss finds the Sounders winless in their last three.

LA Galaxy 2 – FC Dallas 0

(68′, 84′ Ibrahimović)

Galaxy fans will feel a little better after the road trip that saw the team go winless in its last three games.

It took until the 68th minute, but Zlatan Ibrahimović opened the scoring from close range after Cristian Pavón and Jørgen Skjelvik fought through traffic to find him for a tap-in.

He did it it again from the penalty spot after Pavón took contact in the box. At the death, he stung Dallas keeper Jesse González’s gloves on a free-kick attempt that nearly earned the Swede a hat-trick.

The late brace was good enough to see out the Galaxy’s first MLS win since July 19th.

Portland Timbers 3 – Chicago Fire 2

(11′ Moreira, 21′, 88′ Fernández) – (75′ Nikolić, 90’+3 Sapong)

Providence Park witnessed its Portland Timbers post a second straight victory to climb into playoff position in the West.

The opener belonged to Jorge Moreira, who found Fire keeper David Ousted well off his line. The Paraguayan curled his shot with ease for his second of the season.

Moreira was involved on Portland’s next goal as well. He found Brian Fernández to double the lead ten minutes later front point blank.

Chicago’s Nemanja Nikolić got on the board from a late set-piece to keep it interesting, but Fernández answered with his second goal of the night moments later, a goal that wound up being a crucial one.

C.J. Sapong found the net in extra time, but the whistle blew as the teams reset.

The win moves Portland into seventh place in the West with a schedule backloaded with home games after renovations to Providence Park had the Timbers on the road for the first 12 games of the season.y are The unbeaten in their last seven home games after Wednesday’s result.

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