Zlatan Ibrahimovic delivered two goals from the penalty spot to mark a triumphant return from injury as the LA Galaxy earned a 2-1 victory on Sunday night over the visiting Portland Timbers.
After missing the last two games because of a sore left Achilles, Ibrahimovic not only scored from the spot twice, he earned both fouls. His first goal came in the 33rd minute and his game winner came in the 65th minute.
Jeremy Ebobisse scored in the 44th minute for the Timbers, who lost their third consecutive game after drawing in their season opener at Colorado. The Timbers are playing their first 12 games on the road as upgrades are made to their home stadium, Providence Park.
After nearly scoring in the 14th minute when he hit the post while redirecting a centering pass over his head, Ibrahimovic converted on his penalty in the 33rd minute. He was able to draw a foul in the penalty area against Timbers defender Claude Dielna.
His shot from the penalty spot to the left side of the goal easily beat Timbers goalkeeper Jeff Attinella, who guessed to the right side as the Galaxy took a 1-0 lead.
The Timbers used precision passing to get even when Diego Valeri and David Guzman traded passes in the penalty area before Guzman fed Ebobisse in front for the easy goal. It was the forward’s second goal of the season.
Ibrahimovic’s scoring prowess created more issues for the Timbers midway through the second half when he beat three defenders to reach the edge of the six-yard box, where he was fouled on a slide by Attinella.
The second goal from the penalty spot for Ibrahimovic was a Panenka that reached the back of the net when Attinella committed to his left.
Ibrahimovic has played in just two of the Galaxy’s four games this season, but has scored three goals, including the game winner in the 80th minute of the season opener on March 2 against the Chicago Fire.
On the one-year anniversary of Ibrahimovic’s spectacular MLS debut last season when he scored two goals against LAFC, he now has 25 goals in 29 MLS games played (26 starts).