Los Angeles Galaxy's Zlatan Ibrahimovic Scores 1st Hat Trick In MLB, Leads Comeback Win Vs. Orlando City SC

By Fitzgerald Cecilio
on Jul 30, 2018 09:30 AM EDT
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Forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic recorded his first MLS hat trick as he carried the Los Angeles Galaxy to a close 4-3 triumph over Orlando City SC on Sunday at StubHub Center.

Ibrahimovic tallied all three of his goals in the second half to help the Galaxy (10-7-5) overcome a 2-1 halftime deficit and pad their unbeaten streak to nine matches. The win also moved the Galaxy to within a point of second-running LAFC in the Western Conference.

Ibrahimovic's Feat First MLS Hat Trick Since 2015

Ibrahimovic's feat was the first MLS hat trick since Robbie Keane tallied one in July 2015. The three goals increased Ibrahimovic's season tally to 15 goals, moving him past Bradley Wright-Phillips for second place in the Golden Boot race.

Ibrahimovic scored in the 47th minute with a head from a cross by Gio dos Santos to tie the game for the first time before Don Dwyer gave Orlando (7-14-1) the lead for the last time in the 54th minute with a header from a perfect cross by Mohamed El-Munir.

Ibrahimovic tallied his brace in the 67th minute with another header to tie the match for the last time. Then Ibrahimovic recorded the game-winning goal in the 71st minute, which he celebrated by ripping off his jersey.

Cristian Higuita scored in the 18th minute, while Michael Ciani gifted Orlando with an own goal in the 44th minute as the Lions suffered their eighth straight road loss and their 12th defeat in the last 13 matches.

Ibrahimovic To Miss MLS All-Star Game

After the game, Major League Soccer announced that Ibrahimovic will not play in the 2018 MLS All-Star Game, which will be held at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, on Aug. 1 against Juventus.

In a statement, the Galaxy says Ibrahimovic needs to rest after playing three club matches in a span of one week and the needed travel to Georgia.

"I am disappointed to miss the 2018 All-Star game against Juventus, one of my former clubs," Ibrahimovic says in a statement.

"I want to thank the fans for voting me to the team. My main focus is to score goals and help the LA Galaxy to the playoffs."

Based on MLS policy, Ibrahimovic is ineligible to play in the Galaxy's clash against Colorado on Saturday after skipping the All-Star Game.

Ibrahimovic was selected due to his impressive performance in his first year with the Galaxy. In 17 games for the Galaxy, Ibrahimovic has tallied 15 goals and six assists.

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