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He promised he would perform in El Trafico on Friday, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic delivered, scoring a hat trick as the LA Galaxy defeated LAFC 3-2 at Dignity Health Sports Park.
The game, the fourth all-time between the Los Angeles teams, maintains LA’s unbeaten run (2-0-2) against their new neighbors. The teams will play again on Aug. 25, at Banc of California Stadium.
The game started off with a bang. Carlos Vela drew a penalty from David Bingham in the opening minutes, and converted the spot kick himself in the 4th minute. But Zlatan Ibrahimovic had an answer himself, as he played a sombrero on two LAFC defenders, then blasted home a lob to beat Tyler Miller in the 8th minute to make it 1-1.
From there, the Galaxy controlled the run of play and the game grew increasingly chippy. Ibrahimovic scored his second of the night in the 56th minute, heading in Diego Polenta’s cross at the far post to give the home side the lead. He then completed his hat trick by dribbling upfield after a feed from Favio Alvarez and unleashing a low shot from distance to pad the Galaxy’s lead.
Vela scored his second goal in the 97th minute, but it was too little, too late as the Galaxy took all three points.
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- 4′ – LAFC – Carlos Vela | WATCH
- 8′ – LA – Zlatan Ibrahimovic | WATCH
- 56′ – LA – Zlatan Ibrahimovic | WATCH
- 70′ – LA – Zlatan Ibrahimovic | WATCH
- 90+7′ – LAFC – Carlos Vela | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: LAFC have had a nearly flawless season to date, but this game is a huge blemish on what’s shaping to potentially be a historic regular season. They will need to regroup quickly. The Galaxy, meanwhile, needed a big win, and a week after getting blown away at home by another rival, San Jose, they got it. Will this be a turning point in their season?
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: After Vela got LAFC off to a fantastic start, Ibrahimovic’s first goal one-upped his rival in breathless fashion.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Who else? Ibrahimovic was loud in the buildup to the game and backed up that talk with a vital hat trick to continue his dominance over LAFC.
- LA: Tuesday, July 23 vs. Club Tijuana (11 pm ET | ESPN, UDN in US; TSN1/4 in Canada) | Leagues Cup
- LAFC: Friday, July 26 vs. Atlanta United (10 pm ET | ESPN in US; TSN2 in Canada)