(Reuters) – Zlatan Ibrahimovic received a red card for slapping an opposing player in the head on Monday but the LA Galaxy were still able to eke out a 1-0 win over the Montreal Impact without their marquee acquisition.
Impact defender Michael Petrasso stepped on the 36-year-old’s foot in the 40th minute of the match in Montreal and the towering Swede retaliated with a slap to the back of Petrasso’s head.
Both players fell to the ground in an apparent effort to win the sympathy of referee Ismail Elfath but after a review of the video, Petrasso was shown a yellow card and the former Juventus, Barcelona and Manchester United striker a red.
Despite the Impact controlling the ball for 56 percent of the game and taking 15 more shots, Galaxy’s 10 men prevailed when Ola Kamara scored the only goal of the game in the 75th minute.
The win ends a four-game skid for the Galaxy who are now 4-6-1 while the loss is the third straight for the 3-9-0 Impact, who will need to find some goals in the remaining 24 games of the season if they hope to make the playoffs.
Ibrahimovic made a Hollywood entrance during his first game for the Galaxy in March when he scored twice, including the winner, in a thrilling 4-3 victory over local rivals LAFC but has added only one more goal since.
Sweden’s record goalscorer, Ibrahimovic retired from international football after Euro 2016 and, despite flirting with a comeback, will miss this year’s World Cup in Russia.
(Reporting by Rory Carroll, editing by Nick Mulvenney)