March 31, 2018 / 9:32 PM / 4 months ago

Soccer-Zlatan shines as LA Galaxy battle back to beat LAFC

CARSON, Calif., March 31 (Reuters) - Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice on his LA Galaxy debut including a 90th-minute winner as his new team battled back from three goals down to defeat the upstart LAFC 4-3 in a thrilling match on Saturday.

Ibrahimovic, who came on as a substitute in the 71st minute, scored six minutes into his first MLS game with a curling shot which soared over the outstretched arms of LAFC goalie Tyler Miller.

The Swedish striker followed up with a header in the 90th minute from a pass by Ashley Cole that proved to be Galaxy’s winner.

The “El Traffico” derby was all one-way traffic at the start as LAFC immediately put pressure on a short-handed Galaxy squad.

Carlos Vela’s curler into the top left corner in the fifth minute gave LAFC an early lead.

The Mexican struck again 21 minutes later from close range when Galaxy keeper David Bingham fell down and Vela hit the top of the crossbar before the ball landed over the line.

An own goal by Galaxy defender Daniel Steres gave LAFC a 3-0 lead going into halftime and the game appeared all but over.

But Galaxy fought back in the second half with goals by Sebastian Lletget and Chris Pontius before Ibrahimovic stole the show to send the sell-out crowd of 27,068 into a frenzy on warm and sunny day.

Editing by Ed Osmond

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