2018 Major League Soccer, Regular Season
  • Sebastian Lletget (61')
  • Chris Pontius (73')
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic (77', 90'+1')
  • Carlos Vela (5', 26')
  • Daniel Steres (48' OG)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic double helps LA Galaxy rally for 4-3 win against LAFC

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the equalizer and the winner in his debut for the LA Galaxy as the home team rallied from three goals down to beat LAFC 4-3.

Things looked bad from the off for the Galaxy as expansion LAFC got off to a perfect start in the two teams' first local derby when Carlos Vela picked up a LA Galaxy turnover just outside the penalty area, cut to his left and curled a perfect shot past David Bingham into the top corner to make it 1-0.

The teams traded chances just past the 10-minute mark with Diego Rossi missing at the far post on an LAFC counter-attack and Emmanuel Boateng firing over the crossbar from Ola Kamara's laid off header.

A wide-open Vela scored his second on 26 minutes after Rossi picked him out left all alone in front of the Galaxy goal, and the Mexico international beat Bingham before his chipped shot caromed off the crossbar and over the goal line.

The hosts had a good chance to pull one back before half-time when Rolf Feltscher beat his defender to the endline and was all alone only to tamely chip his cross right to LAFC keeper Tyler Miller with two teammates open in front of goal.

LAFC went three-goals clear early in the second half when Daniel Steres redirected a Marcos Urena cross into his own net, with Vela waiting just behind him to pounce for his hat trick.

With new arrival Ibrahimovic warming up on the sidelines -- and the crowd chanting for Sigi Schmid to put him into the game -- Sebastian Lletget clawed one back for the Galaxy, slotting his first-time shot from a Servando Carrasco pass into the back of the net just after the hour mark.

And Schmid gave the fans what they wanted, bringing Ibrahimovic on for Lletget in the 71st minute with the former PSG and Barcelona player forcing the action right away.

Ibrahimovic's cross following his first touches was poorly cleared by LAFC and Boateng picked up the rebound and crossed for Chris Pontius at the far post, who headed home to cut the lead to 3-2.

Minutes later, Ibrahimovic had his new team back on level terms, smashing his first-ever shot in an LA Galaxy uniform in from 40 yards away with a swerving volley that went over the head of Miller and into goal.

LAFC sprang to life again after the Ibrahimovic goal, with Urena beating his defender in the Galaxy penalty area and then smashing a shot off the post.

But Ibrahimovic and the Galaxy would have the final say, as LA's new No. 9 rose highest to head home an Ashley Cole cross to give his team a 4-3 fightback win and all three points.

The Galaxy became just the second team in MLS history to come back for a win in regulation after trailing by three goals, with Seattle completing the feat last season against D.C. United, while Ibrahimovic is the first player to have a multi-goal game in his MLS debut since Jermain Defoe on March 15, 2014 with Toronto FC.