Playing arguably their best first-half all season, the Lions looked positioned to carry that momentum into the second half.
But Zlatan Ibrahimovic happened.
A hat-trick performance in the second half from Ibrahimovic sealed the LA Galaxy a 4-3 victory over Orlando City Sunday night at the StubHub Center.
Orlando (7-14-1, 22 points) opened the scoring when a pass from Sacha Kljestan found Cristian Higuita open, who slotted the ball from close in the 18th minute.
Giovani dos Santos tied the game for the Galaxy (10-7-5, 35 points) in the 39th minute, but the Lions re-took the lead before halftime when an own-goal from Michael Ciani gave Orlando a 2-1 lead heading into the break.
Ibrahimovic tied the game again, 2-2, for the Galaxy in the 47th minute, but Orlando City answered moments later when Dom Dwyer headed a ball from Mohamed El-Munir in the 54th minute to give the visitors the 3-2 lead.
But two goals five minutes from Ibrahimovic sealed his hat-trick and the victory for the Galaxy, who are nine-games unbeaten.
In the 67th minute, Ibrahimovic headed a ball from Ola Kamara to tie the game 3-3. In the 71st a missed clearance from Amro Tarek landed at the feet of Zlatan who struck the ball from close past goalkeeper Earl Edwards Jr. for the eventual game-winning goal.
18′ Cristian Higuita (Sacha Kljestan)
39′ Giovani dos Santos (Zlatan Ibrahimovic)
44′ Michael Ciani (own-goal)
47′ Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Giovani dos Santos)
54′ Dom Dwyer (Mohamed El-Munir)
67′ Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Ola Kamara)
71′ Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Home versus New England Revolution on Saturday, Aug. 4 at 7:30 p.m. ET.
How the Lions lined up
Orlando City XI: Earl Edwards Jr; Victor PC Giro, Amro Tarek, Chris Schuler, Scott (84′) Sutter; Cristian Higuita (74′), Tony Rocha, Sacha Kljestan (c); Mohamed El-Munir (79′), Yoshimar Yotun; Dom Dwyer.
Bench: Joe Bendik, Josue Colman (84′), Will Johnson (74′), Cam Lindley, Chris Mueller, Donny Toia, Stefano Pinho (79′).
(Photo Courtesy of Los Angeles Galaxy)
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