Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez recorded his first two-goal performance of his MLS career and Sacha Kljestan scored in the 81st minute to lift the LA Galaxy to a 3-2 win over host Inter Miami CF on Sunday.
Hernandez matched his goal total from all of 2020, the first year in MLS for the Mexico national team’s all-time leading scorer.
For Kljestan, a late substitute, it was his first goal since scoring the winner for Orlando City against the New York Red Bulls on March 23, 2019.
Gonzalo Higuain scored from the penalty spot and had an assist for Miami, which lost in the debut of manager Phil Neville, the former Manchester United and England teammate of partial club owner David Beckham.
Instead, it was Greg Vanney winning in his managerial debut for the Galaxy. He assumed the role after helping Toronto FC win one MLS Cup and reach three finals.
But Miami was the better team for long early stretches and took the lead through Robbie Robinson just before halftime.
Not long after the break, Vanney made a tactical change, inserting Ethan Zubak as a second forward to switch to a 4-4-2.
It resulted in Chicharito’s first goal in the 62nd minute. Zubak worked wide on the left, then sent in a cross toward the striker, who made a lateral run across the penalty spot and drove a first-touch finish past goalkeeper John McCarthy.
Higuain put Miami in front again not long after on a penalty earned by Rodolfo Pizarro, but Chicharito answered with his second in the 73rd minute when he pounced after McCarthy failed to deal with a cross from the left.
Then came the winner from an Oniel Fisher attack down the right. Sebastian Lletget eventually got to the cross and laid the ball off for Kljestan, whose low finish struck the inside of the left post on its way past McCarthy.