Ibra Nets Late Winner for Galaxy in MLS Season Kick-Off

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the winner as LA Galaxy, who unveiled a statue of former star David Beckham before the match, came from behind to beat Chicago Fire 2-1 in the opening round of the new MLS season.

The visitors had led through Charles Sapong's opener in the 49th minute, Galaxy defender Diego Polenta having gifted his opponent possession with a costly misplaced back pass.


Daniel Steres headed home the equaliser in the 68th minute, rising to meet a cross from 16-year-old substitute Efrain Alvarez.

And Ibrahimovic sealed all three points with 10 minutes to go, heading home a rebound after Chris Pontius' initial shot came back off the crossbar.  


Galaxy marked the opening match of the campaign by unveiling a statue of former Manchester United, Real Madrid and England star Beckham - who played for Galaxy from 2007 until 2012 - outside their stadium in Carson, as well as posting video tributes to social media from West Coast hip hop veteran Snoop Dogg and former LA Lakers NBA star Kobe Bryant. 

Elsewhere on Saturday, another former Manchester United star, Portugal international Nani, came off the bench to make his first appearance in MLS, the forward playing a role in Orlando City's equaliser as they drew 2-2 at home to New York City.

Andre Shinyashiki's late goal rescued a point for 10-man Colorado Rapids, who gave up an early lead and had Axel Sjoberg sent off just 27 minutes into their 3-3 draw with Portland Timbers, which was played amid a heavy snow storm.

Minnesota United came from behind to beat Vancouver Whitecaps 3-2 away from home, Francisco Calvo and Romario Ibarra scoring in a four-minute spell mid-way through the second half for the visitors at BC Place Stadium.


Michael Bradley's brace helped Toronto ease to a 3-1 victory at Philadelphia Union, while Seattle Sounders were also comfortable winners, Jordan Morris netting twice in a 4-1 victory over newcomers Cincinnati. 

Montreal Impact responded to going a goal down by beating San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 on the road.

Houston Dynamo survived the late dismissal of Matias Vera for a second bookable offence to draw 1-1 at home to Real Salt Lake.

Columbus Crew and Dallas were also held to a 1-1 home draws, by New York Red Bulls and New England respectively.