The big Swede didn’t take long to make his mark on the rivalry match, netting just a minute in to put the Galaxy out in front of the Earthquakes
It didn’t take long for Zlatan Ibrahimovic to make his mark on the Cali Clasico, the MLS rivalry that pits the LA Galaxy against the San Jose Earthquakes, but the 36-year-old’s stellar showing wasn’t enough as his side was held to a 3-3 draw.
The Galaxy and Earthquakes entered the night both very much in need of a positive result, with the two side sitting on the outside of the MLS Western Conference playoff spots.
Having won three of their last five, the Galaxy were likely confident coming into the match against a San Jose side that hadn’t tasted victory since early May, and Ibrahimovic got the club off to a fine start.
Galaxy midfielder Chris Pontius won a contested header near the top of the box inside the first minute that fell kindly for the big Swede.
Ibrahimovic took it off the first bounce and fired a brilliant strike into the far corner.
Chris Wondolowski, who is chasing MLS all-time scoring leader Landon Donovan, pulled the Earthquakes back level in the 15th minute. After having his initial penalty saved, the 35-year-old put home the rebound to make it 1-1.
The Galaxy were back in front four minutes later, with Romain Alessandrini curling home a free kick from the right side of the box, before Ibrahimovic struck a free kick of his own to put LA two goals up.
Valeri Qazaishvili pulled one back before the break and the teams went to the half with the Galaxy holding a slim lead.
Wondolowski was at it again from the penalty spot in the 69th minute, putting the match back on level terms and giving the game its final scoreline. The double leaves Wondolowski needing just six goals to break Donovan’s MLS record.
The Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers played out a thriller of their own in Seattle, with the Timbers taking a 3-2 win on the night.
All five goals came in a lively second half, with Larrys Mabiala opening the scoring just after the break and finding the winner 74 minutes in.
Víctor Rodríguez and Chad Marshall both netted for the Sounders either side of a fine finish from Samuel Armenteros in between strikes from Mabiala.
Eastern Conference leader Atlanta continued its dominant form with a 4-0 smashing of Orlando City. MLS scoring leader Josef Martinez got things rolling and Miguel Almiron netted twice as the Five Stripes pushed their unbeaten run to six matches.
LAFC was the other big winner on the night, cruising to a 4-1 pasting of the Philadelphia Union. Adama Diomande was the man of the moment, netting the first hat trick in LAFC history in the win.
Aleksandar Katai can’t stop scoring at the moment, and his second-half brace pulled the Chicago Fire back from a goal down to take a 3-2 win over New York City FC.
Cristian Penilla was also at the double for the New England Revolution, with Yamil Asad scoring a brace of his own for D.C. United. Unfortunately for Asad, Teal Bunbury was also on target for the Revs, who took a 3-2 win over a United side that made headlines this week for their signing of Wayne Rooney but will have to wait for July 10 to come around before the former Manchester United man can take the field.
Goals from Ignacio Piatti and Alejandro Silva handed the Montreal Impact a 2-0 win over Sporting Kansas City, who came into the night unbeaten in 10 across all competitions, and the Columbus Crew used two first half goals squeak out a 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake.
In action on Friday night, FC Dallas claimed a 1-0 win over Minnesota United thanks to Roland Lamah’s goal just before the hour mark.