Sports Football 30 Jul 2018 LA Galaxy's Ibr ...

LA Galaxy's Ibrahimovic has first MLS hat-trick, Rooney bloodied after DC United goal

AP / AFP | DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Jul 30, 2018, 11:54 am IST
Updated Jul 30, 2018, 11:54 am IST
Rooney, 32, scored the opening goal against ex-Manchester United team-mate Tim Howard but was left bloodied after a clash of heads with Colorado defender Axel Sjoberg in stoppage time. (Photo: AFP/AP)
 Rooney, 32, scored the opening goal against ex-Manchester United team-mate Tim Howard but was left bloodied after a clash of heads with Colorado defender Axel Sjoberg in stoppage time. (Photo: AFP/AP)

Carson: Zlatan Ibrahimovic had his first MLS hat trick, scoring the tying and go-ahead goals in a 4-minute span in the second in the LA Galaxy's 4-3 victory over Orlando City on Sunday night.

The 36-year-old Swedish star tied it at 3 in the 67th minute on a diving header off Ola Kamara's feed, then put the Galaxy in front in the 71st with a short hard kick after he headed down a rebound. He celebrated by ripping off his jersey.

Ibrahimovic has 15 goals this season, his first with LA.

The Galaxy (10-7-5) are unbeaten in nine games. Orlando City (7-14-1) has lost 12 of its last 13 games.

Ibrahimovic pulled LA even at 2 in the 47th with a leaping header off Giovani dos Santos's feed.

After dos Santos rang a shot off the crossbar in the 50th, Dominic Dwyer put Orlando back in front in the 54th with a header off Mohamed El-Munir's cross from the end line.

Orlando City took a 2-1 lead just before halftime on LA defender Michael Ciani's own goal. Ciani accidentally deflected Sacha Kljestan's center pass past goalkeeper David Bingham.

Cristian Higuita opened the scoring for Orlando in the 18th minute, connecting from close range. Dos Santos tied it in the 39th, firing a shot to the lower left side off an assist from Ibrahimovic.

On the other hand, Former England captain Wayne Rooney grabbed his first goal for DC United but also suffered a broken nose in a 2-1 victory over Colorado Rapids.

Rooney, 32, scored the opening goal against ex-Manchester United team-mate Tim Howard but was left bloodied after a clash of heads with Colorado defender Axel Sjoberg in stoppage time.

"Delighted to score my first goal for DC United," Rooney tweeted after his team won for just the fourth time in 18 matches this season. Two of those victories have come since Rooney made his debut on July 14.

The striker, England's all-time record goalscorer, said he required five stitches after breaking his nose in the collision with Sjoberg.

Rooney, who played for boyhood club Everton last season following his return from Old Trafford, signed a three-and-a-half year deal with DC United worth $13 million earlier this month.

DC remain 11 points beneath the playoff places with 16 matches remaining and several games in hand over the six teams currently in line for the postseason.

After Rooney's opener, an angled shot between Howard's legs, United conceded an 82nd-minute equalizer and appeared destined to again share the points before going ahead on an own-goal.

Coach Ben Olsen called it an important win, not only for the points but also for the confidence his side can take from a gritty performance.

"Psychologically, this is huge for our group," Olsen said. "The other team scoring a late goal -- which has been our Achilles heel all year --  to turn that around and get a winner, I think psychologically this was a huge boost for the team right now."

Rooney, Olsen said, provided much of that lift.

"I don't think it's the first time he's bled in a game," said Olsen, whose white shirt was streaked with blood after he embraced his star.

"He is a tough guy and I think that he will shake it off. But again, it shows you what this means to him right now. He is in the box, putting his face on the line, understanding that this is a big moment."

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