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Galaxy beat Minnesota United 2-1, move on to face LAFC

Sebastian Lletget and Jonathan dos Santos scored four minutes apart midway through the second half, leading the Los Angeles Galaxy to a 2-1 victory over Minnesota in the first round of the MLS playoffs Sunday night to spoil United's postseason debut.

Jan Gregus gave the Loons life with a goal in the 87th minute, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the Galaxy hung on to advance to face top seed Los Angeles FC on Thursday in the Western Conference semifinals and set up another "El Trafico" derby between the Southern California rivals.

The Galaxy are 2-0-3 against LAFC, which joined MLS in 2018 and set the league record this season with 72 points by going 21-4-9 in the regular season.

LA Galaxy midfielder Zlatan Ibrahimovic (9) battles for the ball with Minnesota United defender Michael Boxall (15) during the first half of an MLS soccer first-round playoff match, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP PhotoAndy Clayton-King)

In front of a frenzied crowd that filled up Allianz Field, the new-in-2019 stadium for the third-year MLS franchise, Minnesota had the fans roaring and groaning throughout the first half while owning the attack. Robin Lod had three prime chances, including a one-timer from the middle he sent sailing over the net.

All those missed scoring opportunities came back to haunt the Loons, when Ibrahimovic's close-range shot was blocked by Michael Boxall, and Lletget knocked in the rebound in the 71st minute. Then in the 75th minute, dos Santos let one fly for the lower right corner that was out of a diving goalkeeper Vito Mannone's reach.

The Loons were the only home team to lose in the first round.

LA Galaxy midfielder Uriel Antuna (18) has the ball deflected by Minnesota United defender Romain Metanire (19) during the first half of an MLS soccer first-round playoff match, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP PhotoAndy Clayton-King)

LA Galaxy goalkeeper David Bingham (1) deflects a header by Minnesota United defender Michael Boxall (15) during the first half of an MLS soccer first-round playoff match, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP PhotoAndy Clayton-King)

LA Galaxy forward Christian Pavon (10) and Minnesota United defender Chase Gasper (77) vie for the ball during the first half of an MLS soccer first-round playoff match, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP PhotoAndy Clayton-King)