Los Angeles (AFP) – Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez scored a 90th-minute winner as the Los Angeles Galaxy defeated the reigning MLS champions New York City in their season-opener on Sunday.
Mexico international Hernandez collected a pass from Raheem Edwards and lost his marker before rifling a right foot shot into the roof of the net to seal a hard-fought game at the club’s Dignity Health Sports Park home.
The victory hands the Galaxy a morale-boosting early three points as the MLS giants launch their quest to return to the playoffs after missing out in 2020 and 2021.
“The effort of the team was incredible,” the former Manchester United and West Ham forward said.
“It’s an unbelievable three points. But I don’t want all the praise. It was a victory for LA Galaxy not for Chicharito,” he added after the win in front of more than 25,000 fans.
Galaxy will also draw encouragement from the performance of new signing Douglas Costa.
The Brazilian former Bayern Munich and Juventus winger looked threatening throughout, drawing early saves from New York goalkeeper Sean Johnson in the opening six minutes.
The 31-year-old Brazil international also came close to setting up a goal for Kevin Cabral on 34 minutes, only for the Frenchman’s effort to be saved again by Johnson.
In other games on Sunday, another Brazilian, Alexandre Pato, scored his first Major League Soccer goal as Orlando City beat CF Montreal 2-0.
The former AC Milan and Villarreal striker, who played just four times last season due to injuries, opened the scoring in the 49th minute.
Benji Michel added Orlando’s second on 59 minutes to wrap up the points for the Florida team.
Elsewhere, 2018 MLS champions Atlanta United scored a 3-1 win over Sporting Kansas City.
Brazilian Luiz Araujo, English-born US international Dom Dwyer and American 17-year-old Caleb Wiley scored the goals for Atlanta with Daniel Salloi scoring a consolation strike for Kansas City.
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