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Zlatan Ibrahimovic nets hat trick, sets Galaxy goals record

By
Alex Butler
Los Angeles Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic now trails Carlos Vela by two goals for the Major League Soccer lead. Photo by Paul Buck/EPA-EFE
Los Angeles Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic now trails Carlos Vela by two goals for the Major League Soccer lead. Photo by Paul Buck/EPA-EFE

Sept. 16 (UPI) -- Swedish soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimovic recorded a hat trick and set a new goals record in the Los Angeles Galaxy's 7-2 win against Sporting KC.

Ibrahimovic scored in the 32nd, 51st and 85th minutes of the lopsided victory Sunday at Dignity Health Sports Park in Los Angeles. Ibrahimovic's third hat trick of the season helped him move to 26 goals on the season, passing Carlos Ruiz's previous team record of 24 goals.

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"I think I'm the best to ever play in MLS, without joking," Ibrahimovic told reporters.

Felipe Gutierrez gave Sporting KC a 1-0 lead with a score in the 24th minute. Ibrahimovic answered with his first score 8 minutes later, leveling the score at halftime. The Galaxy star scored after following up on a penalty kick that was initially blocked by keeper Tim Melia.

Joe Corona gave the Galaxy a 2-1 lead with a score in the 48th minute before Ibrahimovic netted his second goal of the match. Ibrahimovic brought in a cross from right back Rolf Feltscher during that sequence. The ball fell into the box and Ibrahimovic knocked it down in front of a defender. He then navigated a crowd of defenders before finishing the shot with his left boot, beating Melia at the near post.

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Uriel Antuna pushed the lead to 4-1 with a score in the 69th minute. Sebastian Lletget scored in the 77th and 79th minutes for a 6-1 advantage.

Ibrahimovic scored the Galaxy's final goal by placing an 18-yard shot into the far-post netting, beating a diving Melia. Gutierrez scored about a minute later for the final score of the game, beating Galaxy keeper David Bingham.

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"It was a game we needed to win, especially after the last game," Ibrahimovic said. "We need all of the points we can get to get into the playoffs. Today was a nice win."

Ibrahimovic trails LAFC's Carlos Vela by two goals for the most scores in MLS. The Galaxy host the Montreal Impact at 10:30 p.m. EDT Saturday in Los Angeles.

"I said from the first day that I came that I'm not here for vacation," Ibrahimovic said. "I'm here to perform and show everybody what they gave me is about. I think in the three years I have been here I've done good things, amazing things and perfect things. I just have to keep going."

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