Billy Sharp's hat trick helps Galaxy top Minnesota United

ByReuters ESPN logo
Thursday, September 21, 2023

Billy Sharp produced his first MLS hat trick and Diego Fagundez scored the tiebreaking tally as the Los Angeles Galaxy rallied with three second-half goals to edge Minnesota United 4-3 on Wednesday night at Carson, Calif.

Sharp, a 37-year-old Englishman, has scored six goals in six appearances since joining the Galaxy (8-11-9, 33 points) last month. Los Angeles is 6-2-6 over its past 14 MLS matches.

Bongokuhle Hlongwane scored two goals and Teemu Pukki had one for Minnesota United (9-10-10, 37 points). The Loons have lost two straight following a seven-match unbeaten stretch (3-0-4).

Minnesota played the final 22 minutes -- including six in stoppage time -- with just 10 men after Ethan Bledsoe was shown a red card.

The Galaxy moved ahead in the 82nd minute when Tyler Boyd sent a cross toward the middle and a charging Fagundez delivered a right-footed shot. The ball hit the hands of Minnesota goalie Dayne St. Clair on its way to being the game-winner.

It was Fagundez's first goal in five matches since joining Los Angeles.

The Galaxy trailed 3-1 at halftime before Sharp scored twice during an eight-minute stretch.

The sequence in the 63rd minute started with a corner kick, from which Maya Yoshida headed the ball off a Minnesota defender. Sharp was positioned right near the goal and easily tapped it in with his right foot.

Sharp's tying goal came after Minnesota failed to clear the ball. It caromed over to Sharp, who sent a left-footer into the net.

The Galaxy struck first on Sharp's rebound goal in the 16th minute. Minnesota United scored the next three goals, beginning with Pukki's goal in the 19th minute. Pukki tallied on a right-footer for his fourth goal of the season.

In the 41st minute, Hlongwane took a right-footed shot from outside the ball that hit the backside of Los Angeles' Raheem Edwards. The ball ricocheted high in the air and above the grasp of Los Angeles goalkeeper Jonathan Bond as Minnesota took a 2-1 lead.

Hlongwane scored his second goal of the night in the fifth minute of first-half stoppage time. Pukki fed the ball to the uncovered Hlongwane, who tapped it in for his eighth goal of the campaign.

--Field Level Media

Related Video