By 90Min
August 26, 2019

It's becoming increasingly clear which sides will be taking part in the 2019 MLS playoffs as the regular season nears its conclusion.

LA Galaxy's hopes of reaching that stage took a hit over the weekend as they allowed a two-goal lead to slip in their clash with city rivals Los Angeles FC. An early blitz from the former left the score at 3-1 after just a quarter of an hour, Zlatan Ibrahimovic grabbing a brace.

Both the Swede's goals were vintage Zlatan, the hitman first lashing a powerful drive in at the bear-post before dancing around the hapless opposition goalkeeper to slot into an unguarded net.

Unfortunately for Galaxy, a Latif Blessing double kept the hosts in the game, with former Arsenal forward Carlos Vela netting shortly after the break to level matters. Nevertheless, they are unbeaten in their last five LA derbies. 

The draw allowed Real Salt Lake and Seattle Sounders - who beat Colorado Rapids and Portland Timbers, respectively - to leapfrog Zlatan and his teammates, though they still hold a five-point lead over the Timbers in eighth-position.

DC United have the same size cushion keeping them in the playoff places of the Eastern Conference, but suffered in the absence of talsimanic forward Wayne Rooney. The England international was serving the first of a three-match suspension against Philadelphia Union for his sending off on Thursday.

Despite the referee missing the incident in United's meeting with New York Red Bulls in midweek, VAR spotted a swinging elbow from Rooney and the 33-year-old was subsequently given his marching orders.

The side from the capital went down 3-1 in Philadelphia without him and as a result dropped below New York City, who defeated neighbours Red Bull 2-1 after initially falling behind to Alex Muyl's opener.

Atlanta United top the MLS Eastern division, however, after Josef Martinez rounded off a lightning-quick counterattack with a fine curling effort into the far corner to sink Orlando City in their away trip.

The victors have a healthy advantage over the chasing pack, whilst the draw with Galaxy means LAFC - who sit at the summit of the Western Conference - can confirm their playoff participation with a win against Minnesota United next week. 

Their opponents occupy seventh-place in the table, though they will be disappointed having lost 1-0 at Sporting Kansas City on Friday.

There were also victories for Columbus Crew, San Jose Earthquakes, Toronto and New England Revolution, with FC Dallas securing the biggest winning margin as they thumped fellow Texan outfit Houston Dynamo 5-1.

Here's a complete list of the weekend's results:

Sporting Kansas City 1-0 Minnesota United (23/8)

Orlando City 0-1 Atlanta United (24/8)

Portland Timbers 1-2 Seattle Sounders (24/8)

New York City 2-1 New York Red Bulls (25/8)

New England Revolution 2-1 Chicago Fire (25/8)

Toronto 2-1 Montreal Impact (25/8)

Philadelphia Union 3-1 DC United (25/8)

Real Salt Lake 2-0 Colorado Rapids (25/8)

San Jose Earthquakes 3-1 Vancouver Whitecaps (25/8)

Cincinnati 1-3 Columbus Crew (25/8)

FC Dallas 5-1 Houston Dynamo (26/8)

Los Angeles FC 3-3 Los Angeles Galaxy (26/8)

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