Zlatan Ibrahimovic marked his LA Galaxy debut with a match-winning cameo as the Swede helped his side recover from 3-0 down to beat new boys Los Angeles FC by 4-3.
LAFC’s Carlos Vela scored twice in the first 30 minutes — with a sublime curling shot for his first, and Galaxy were 3-0 just after half-time when Daniel Steres deflected the ball past his own keeper.
Things looked bleak for LA Galaxy; even with Sebastian Lletget pulled one back for Galaxy in the 61st minute it appeared it would be little more than a consolation goal.
However, Ibrahimovic, 36, who just flown in on from Europe on Thursday night ahead of his debut, got the last say as he stole the show after he came on with 20 minutes left and scored a remarkable equaliser from 35 yards before heading in a stoppage-time winner.
He first contributed by helping in the build-up to his team’s second as his cross was deflected and eventually fell to Emmanuel Boateng, who set-up Chris Pontius’s powerful header.
The former Manchester United man then preserved his record of scoring on debuts in the 77th-minute, with the ball dropping to him around 40 yards out he ripped a dipping shot over Tyler Miller in the LAFC goal, although his ensuing celebration was slightly marred when he was booked for tearing off his shirt.
His winner then came in injury time when Ashley Cole crossed a perfect ball into the six-yard area for Ibrahimovic to head home.
“I heard the crowd saying ‘We want Zlatan, we want Zlatan,’” Ibrahimovic said cheerfully after the game. “So I gave them Zlatan. They were pushing me, and I was giving back.”
“My history when I come to a new team, I always score in the first game — I didn’t want to let it down this time.”