Ibrahimovic’s hat trick gives Galaxy win over rival LAFC
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored a hat trick as the LA Galaxy continued its dominance in its El Trafico derby with Los Angeles Football Club, recording a 3-2 victory on Friday night in Carson, Calif.
Ibrahimovic had goals in the eighth, 56th and 70th minutes as the Galaxy improved to 2-0-2 all-time against their northern neighbors who play 12 miles up the Harbor Freeway in downtown Los Angeles.
David Bingham finished with three saves for the Galaxy (12-8-1, 37 points), who leapfrogged the Seattle Sounders into second place in the Western Conference, nine points behind LAFC (14-3-4, 46 points).
Carlos Vela scored two goals for LAFC, which suffered just its third loss this season. The Black and Gold had entered the contest with a MLS-best plus-36 in goal differential while scoring 53 goals, 14 more than any other MLS team. Tyler Miller finished with five saves.
Vela gave LAFC a 1-0 lead in the fourth minute with a penalty kick. The Mexican international took a pass from Mark-Anthony Kaye and then was tripped by a diving Bingham on the right corner of the 6-yard box. Vela calmly flicked a shot into the left corner of the net to become the fastest player in MLS history to score 20 goals in a season, doing it in his 20th game.
It was all Ibrahimovic after that. He tied it, 1-1, in the eighth minute with a one-touch blast from the top of the 18-yard box into the right corner of the net.
Ibrahimovic then got his brace in the 56th minute when he headed in a long crossing pass from Diego Polenta from the right side of the 6-yard box.
The Galaxy then made it 3-1 when Ibrahimovic took a pass from Fabio Alvarez and cut across above the half-circle of the 18-yard box then fired a left-footed shot into the right corner of the goal. It was the 521st career goal in all competitions for Ibrahimovic.
Vela ended the scoring with goal in the seventh minute of second-half stoppage time with a right-footed shot into the far corner. LAFC didn’t get another shot after that.
REUTERS/Field Level Media