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Ibrahimovic shines for Galaxy in Los Angeles 'El Traffico' soccer rivalry

By Alex Butler
Ibrahimovic shines for Galaxy in Los Angeles 'El Traffico' soccer rivalry
Los Angeles Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has 22 goals this season, trailing only LAFC striker Carlos Vela. Photo by Paul Buck/EPA-EFE

Aug. 26 (UPI) -- Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored two sensational goals for the Los Angeles Galaxy in a 3-3 draw with LAFC in the Major League Soccer rivalry known as "El Traffico."

The Swedish soccer star scored in the 2nd minute and 15th minute of the matchup Sunday at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles. Latif Belssing also scored twice for LAFC.

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"I just try to score goals and that's it," Ibrahimovic told reporters. "I try to help my team in the best way. Today we didn't win but the last game we won. I should look to score more."

Argentine star Cristian Pavon split the LAFC defense with a clean give-and-go on the left flank at the start of the first scoring sequence. Pavon dribbled toward the box before slipping a pass through mulitple defenders to find Ibrahimovic in the LAFC box.

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Ibrahimovic watched the ball roll and and quickly lifted his head before belting a first-touch shot past LAFC keeper Tyler Miller. The grounded finish found the near-post netting at a very narrow angle.

Blessing answered 10 minutes later with an equalizer before Ibrahimovic scored his second goal in the 15th minute. Galaxy attacking midfielder Fabio Alvarez assisted Ibrahimovic's second tally. Alvarez lifted a cross over the defense during the sequence, leading Ibrahimovic into the box.

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Ibrahimovic brought down the Alvarez ball before putting a quick move on Miller, forcing him to fall to the ground. Ibrahimovic finished the play by casually touching a shot into the open net.

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Pavon added another score for the Galaxy in the next minute. Blessing scored his brace just before halftime, making the score 3-2 at the break. Carlos Vela scored the final equalizer in the 53rd minute and neither squad could net the winning goal down the stretch.

Vela sustained a hamstring injury during the draw. LAFC coach Bob Bradley said he didn't "think" Vela's strain was a "real bad one."

LAFC battles Minnesota United at 10:30 p.m. EDT Sunday in Los Angeles. The Galaxy battle the Seattle Sounders at 6:30 p.m. EDT Sunday at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.

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