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Sharp has hat trick, Fagundez scores winner as Galaxy rally past Minnesota United 4-3

WCCO digital update: Morning of Sept. 21, 2023
WCCO digital update: Morning of Sept. 21, 2023 01:16

Billy Sharp had his first career hat trick and Diego Fagundez scored the winner as the Los Angeles Galaxy rallied from a two-goal deficit to beat Minnesota United 4-3 on Wednesday night.

The Galaxy (8-11-9) took a 1-0 lead on Sharp's first goal, unassisted in the 16th minute.

Teemu Pukki scored the equalizer unassisted three minutes later for Minnesota United (9-10-10). It was his fourth goal in nine appearances this season.

Bongokuhle Hlongwane gave Minnesota United a 2-1 lead in the 41st minute when he took a pass from Hassani Dotson and scored. Hlongwane made it a two-goal lead at halftime, using an assist from Pukki in the fifth minute of stoppage time to find the net for an eighth time this season.

MLS Minnesota Galaxy Soccer
LA Galaxy midfielder Riqui Puig, center, shoots over Minnesota United midfielder Hassani Dotson, bottom, as United forward Bongokuhle Hlongwane closes in during the second half of an MLS soccer match Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023, in Carson, Calif. Ryan Sun / AP

Sharp scored again, pulling the Galaxy within a goal in the 63rd minute with an assist from defender Maya Yoshida. Sharp scored the equalizer eight minutes later and doubled his goal total for the season in the process. Sharp, a 37-year-old rookie, was making his second start and sixth appearance. He last played in the English Football League in 2021.

Minnesota United was forced to play a man down from the 74th minute on after Ethan Bristow picked up a second yellow card.

Fagundez took advantage in the 82nd minute, using an assist from Tyler Boyd to score his first goal for the Galaxy. Fagundez had two goals in 19 appearances with Austin FC to begin the season. It was his third start and fifth appearance for LA.

Jonathan Sirois finished with three saves for LA. Dayne St. Clair saved six shots for Minnesota United.

The Galaxy saw a six-match unbeaten run at home (3-0-3) end in a 4-2 loss to Los Angeles FC last time out. It was the club's longest unbeaten streak at home since a nine-match run (5-0-4) in 2018.

Minnesota United, which saw a seven-match unbeaten streak end in a 1-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City last time out, is 2-1-2 in its last five matches with LA after the Galaxy went 6-0-2 in the first eight meetings.

Minnesota United returns home to host St. Louis City on Saturday. Los Angeles travels to play Austin FC on Sunday.

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