Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores absurd 40-yard goal, late winner in first MLS game

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Los Angeles Galaxy’s <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/soccer/players/374294/" data-ylk="slk:Zlatan Ibrahimovic">Zlatan Ibrahimovic</a> and teammates celebrate Ibrahimovic’s first of two goals during the second half against LAFC. The Galaxy won 4-3. (AP)
Los Angeles Galaxy’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic and teammates celebrate Ibrahimovic’s first of two goals during the second half against LAFC. The Galaxy won 4-3. (AP)

Dear Los Angeles. You’re welcome.”

That’s how Zlatan Ibrahimovic announced his arrival in Los Angeles with the LA Galaxy.

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Then he gave the soccer equivalent of that same announcement in his first MLS game.

Ibrahimovic completed the Galaxy’s unbelievable comeback from 3-0 down to beat cross-town rival LAFC 4-3 in the first-ever match between the two teams.

He tied it with a stunning half-volley from 40 yards out, over the head of LAFC goalkeeper Tyler Miller:


Then he won it with a gutsy (perhaps offside) header at the near post right at the end of the 90 minutes:


With only one training session under his belt, and with the effects of a serious knee injury still lingering, Ibrahimovic – the mercurial 36-year-old striker who’s won almost every European club trophy there is to win – started on the bench. With the Galaxy down 3-1, he made his entrance in the 71st minute.

“I think I heard, ‘We want Zlatan, we want Zlatan,'” Ibrahimovic said of the crowd during a postgame interview with Fox. “And I gave them Zlatan.”


And now there can be only one message from Los Angeles – or at least half of it – to Ibrahimovic.

“Dear Zlatan. Thank you.”

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Henry Bushnell covers global soccer, and occasionally other ball games, for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Question? Comment? Email him at henrydbushnell@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @HenryBushnell.

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