Zlatan Ibrahimovic praised by his Los Angeles Galaxy teammates after his goal against Chicago Fire, MLS, Carson, California, March 2, 2019 / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP
The Los Angeles Galaxy toppled Chicago 2-1 thanks to Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic on Saturday in the kickoff of the 2019 season of the North American Football Championship (MLS).
"Ibra" keeps his good habits. For his first match in the Galaxy in March 2018, he scored twice and led his team to victory against Los Angeles FC.
He reoffended in the first game of the new season, giving the victory to his team in the 80th minute.
The former Paris SG striker, 37, beat three Chicago defensemen to propel the ball with a header in the opposing goal. The new captain of the Galaxy has benefited from the work of his teammate Chris Pontius, whose shot had been pushed by the Chicago cross.
The Galaxy, which has not played the play-offs since 2016, has yet suffered. The Californian franchise ran after the score following a bad dismissal of Uruguayan rookie Diego Polenta who ideally launched the Chicago striker C.J. Sapong (0-1, 49).
Daniel Steres put the two teams back in the 68th minute (1-1), before Ibrahimovic gave the team three points.
"We fought well, we always believed in it, we're not 100%, but that's normal, it's the beginning of the season, the most important thing was to start the season with a win. at home, "insisted the Swedish colossus.
– Cincinnati misses out –
On the hour, Efrain Alvarez, 16, made his debut in MLS with a performance that convinced "Ibra".
"He forced me to run until the end of the match, the young people of this team are very good and have a promising future ahead of them," said Ibrahimovic, who became the best-paid player in the offseason. MLS with his one-year contract which guarantees him an annual salary of seven million dollars.
Only annoyance for the Galaxy and his new coach, the Argentine Guillermo Barros Schelotto: the exit on injury to a thigh of the French striker Romain Alessandrini after twenty minutes of play.
In other games of the day, Toronto, crowned champion in 2017, dominated Philadelphia 3-1 with a Michael Bradley double, while New York City had to settle for a draw in Orlando (2-2).
Cincinnati, who made his MLS debut this season, had a nightmare debut with a big 4-1 loss to Seattle, while Montreal, coached by Frenchman Rémi Garde, won in San Jose (2-1).
Defending champion Atlanta heads to Washington Sunday to challenge D.C. United and Wayne Rooney.