Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored his team-leading 17th and 18th goals of the season, and the LA Galaxy snapped a two-match slide with a 2-0 victory over FC Dallas on Wednesday night in Carson, Calif.
Cristian Pavon contributed his first assist in his second appearance for the Galaxy since signing on loan from Argentine club Boca Juniors last week. Pavon also earned a penalty kick late, converted by Ibrahimovic to seal the match.
Ibrahimovic remains third in the MLS goal-scoring ranks behind Los Angeles FC's Carlos Vela (23) and Atlanta United's Josef Martinez (20). His latest pair lifted the Galaxy (13-11-1, 40 points) up three spots to third in the Western Conference standings, ahead of Real Salt Lake on the first tiebreaker of total wins.
Dallas (10-10-6, 36 points) was shut out for the third time in four matches, hurting its precarious position near the Western Conference playoff line. With Portland's victory later Wednesday, Dallas fell one point outside of the seventh and final playoff spot.
One game after being held scoreless despite taking an MLS-record 14 shots in a 2-1 loss at D.C. United, Ibrahimovic opened the scoring on his fourth attempt of the game against Dallas in the 68th minute.
Jorgen Skjelvik played a ball that sliced through Dallas' back line and found Pavon on the left, and Pavon dragged a cross toward the penalty spot. From there, Ibrahimovic guided in a one-touch finish inside the left post and beyond goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez's dive.
It was 2-0 about 14 minutes later when Pavon lured Reggie Cannon into a foul inside the penalty area.
Gonzalez and Ibrahimovic appeared to exchange words near the penalty spot before Ibrahimovic converted the PK. Afterward, Ibrahimovic stretched out both arms and, while celebrating with teammates, appeared to have a few more words for the goalkeeper.
Santiago Mosquera could've given Dallas the lead in the 16th minute when he worked free following a corner kick, but David Bingham palmed Mosquera's half-volley onto the crossbar.
On the other end, Ibrahimovic had the Galaxy's best opportunity before halftime, slicing between two defenders before Matt Hedges slid to deflect his effort from 10 yards out for a corner.