Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the winner as LA Galaxy, who unveiled a statue of former star David Beckham before the match, came from behind to beat Chicago Fire 2-1 in the opening round of the new MLS season.
The visitors had led through Charles Sapong’s opener in the 49th minute, Galaxy defender Diego Polenta having gifted his opponent possession with a costly misplaced back pass.
Daniel Steres headed home the equaliser in the 68th minute, rising to meet a cross from 16-year-old substitute Efrain Alvarez.
And Ibrahimovic sealed all three points with 10 minutes to go, heading home a rebound after Chris Pontius’ initial shot came back off the crossbar.
Galaxy marked the opening match of the campaign by unveiling a statue of former Manchester United, Real Madrid and England star Beckham – who played for Galaxy from 2007 until 2012 – outside their stadium in Carson, as well as posting video tributes to social media from West Coast hip hop veteran Snoop Dogg and former LA Lakers NBA star Kobe Bryant.
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) March 3, 2019
Elsewhere on Saturday, another former Manchester United star, Portugal international Nani, came off the bench to make his first appearance in MLS, the forward playing a role in Orlando City’s equaliser as they drew 2-2 at home to New York City.
— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) March 2, 2019
Andre Shinyashiki’s late goal rescued a point for 10-man Colorado Rapids, who gave up an early lead and had Axel Sjoberg sent off just 27 minutes into their 3-3 draw with Portland Timbers, which was played amid a heavy snow storm.
— Andre Shinyashiki (@AShinyashiki9) March 3, 2019
Minnesota United came from behind to beat Vancouver Whitecaps 3-2 away from home, Francisco Calvo and Romario Ibarra scoring in a four-minute spell mid-way through the second half for the visitors at BC Place Stadium.
Michael Bradley’s brace helped Toronto ease to a 3-1 victory at Philadelphia Union, while Seattle Sounders were also comfortable winners, Jordan Morris netting twice in a 4-1 victory over newcomers Cincinnati.
Montreal Impact responded to going a goal down by beating San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 on the road.
Houston Dynamo survived the late dismissal of Matias Vera for a second bookable offence to draw 1-1 at home to Real Salt Lake.
Columbus Crew and Dallas were also held to a 1-1 home draws, by New York Red Bulls and New England respectively.
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