Galaxy Win First El Trafico Derby

Photo Credit: Aaron Martinez

Los Angeles Galaxy one, Chivas zero.

The first edition of El Trafico was one to forget for the Black and Gold but one the Galaxy and neutral spectators will remember forever. Los Angeles Football Club fell victim to the Galaxy 4-3 on Saturday after the club, once known as Chivas USA, dropped a 3-0 second half lead.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s two-goal performance on his MLS debut equalized for the Galaxy then gave them the win after going down 3-0 early in the second half.

His inclusion in the home side’s bench kept everyone inside StubHub Center in anticipation of his inevitable introduction once LAFC took an early lead and eventually tripled it.

Galaxy fans shouted their distaste for the new football club from the first whistle when “F*ck you Chivas!” was heard belted by both supporter sections in the house to remind the new-boys of its unpleasant past.

Withal, LAFC would draw first blood when forward Carlos Vela found the net five minutes into the match and would score once more 20 minutes later. Three minutes after halftime, and the Black and Gold were up 3-0 from a Daniel Steres own-goal and coasting to what seemed a likely win.

Enter stage Ibrahimovic, the “Hungry Lion.”

“If you look back, every team I came to [on] first official game, I scored,” Ibrahimovic said post-match, “And I said I would not let them down today. I was just waiting to come in because when you’re losing 3-0, the adrenaline is pumping even more because you want to be able to do something help the team.”

The Hungry Lion’s introduction to the MLS 71 minutes into the game was one for the books. His presence on the field alone swapped morales.

From anywhere in the stands his height advantage and superior strength was detectable and it took all but six minutes for the Swede to plant his flag when his goal in the 77 minute tied the game – his quick-thinking drive that lobbed out-of-position LAFC goalkeeper Tyler Miller from 35 yards out lifted every person in the StubHub off their seats, including LAFC supporters.

Less than 15 minutes later, the comeback was complete and LAFC hearts across the city were in complete disbelief. It was unbelievable.

“The fans were demanding something,” Ibrahimovic said, “And I gave them Zlatan.”

For LAFC, it was all going well as Vela began as the game’s protagonist. His two goals netted early were overshadowed by the introduction of the Swede who stole the spotlight from Vela. The Mexican international has scored three goals in two matches going into next week’s game against Atlanta United on Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Meanwhile, The Lion and His Cubs will host Sporting KC on Sunday in an attempt to build off from the final 30 minutes of this match.