In a matchup of star-studded teams seeking a 2021 reboot, Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez helped lead the LA Galaxy to a thrilling come-from-behind 3-2 win over Inter Miami CF at DRV PNK Stadium Sunday afternoon.

The biggest names for both teams stepped up big after disappointing debut seasons in MLS a year ago with Chicharito's second-half brace one-upping a goal and an assist by Gonzalo Higuain that had given Inter Miami a 2-1 lead in the 68th minute. A second goal by Chicharito and a sensational strike by second-half substitute Sacha Kljestan in a span of eight minutes sparked the visitors to a Week 1 win.

With Blaise Matuidi putting in the work against the ball and forcing several turnovers that led to transition chances, Inter Miami were the more dangerous side and got their just rewards in first-half stoppage time. Rodolfo Pizarro played Higuain behind the Galaxy backline, the former Juventus star took a touch into the box and slipped a pass over to Robbie Robinson, who tapped in his first MLS goal.

Chicharito leveled in the 62nd minute, receiving a pass from influential second-half substitute Ethan Zubak, who came on as part of a masterclass tactical switch by new Galaxy coach Greg Vanney, taking a touch to shed Leandro Gonzalez Pirez and firing through the legs of John McCarthy.

Higuain put the hosts back in front six minutes later from the penalty spot after referee Chris Penso ruled Jorge Villafana knocked Pizarro down with a hip check.

Chicharito scored his second of the match in the 73rd minute, crashing in at the back post after McCarthy could only get a piece of Zubak's glancing header and then Kljestan blasted in the winner past a rooted McCarthy following a Sebastian Lletget layoff.

Nicolas Figal nearly headed in the stoppage-time equalizer when he got on the end of a Federico Higuain free kick. But the defender headed wide of the frame at the death.

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Goals

  • 45'+2' — MIA — Robbie Robinson | WATCH
  • 62’ — LA — Javier Hernandez | WATCH
  • 68’ — MIA — Gonzalo Higuain (PK) | WATCH
  • 73’ — LA — Chicharito | WATCH
  • 81’ — LA — Sacha Klejestan | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: This match was always about more than three points with personal redemption storylines, especially with Higuain, Matuidi and Chicharito. The brace from Mexico’s all-time leading scorer was the difference in a highly-entertaining game. 
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Was it Zubak’s inclusion? That was huge, but Chicharito’s first goal was not only big in Week 1, but could be massive throughout the season.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Chicharito led the way in this come-from-behind victory with his leadership and, especially, those two goals.

Next Up 

  • MIA: Saturday, April 24 at Philadelphia Union | 8 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ | 2021 MLS regular season
  • LA: Sunday, April 25 vs. New York Red Bulls | 5:30 pm ET | FS1, FOX Deportes | 2021 MLS regular season

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