‘Don’t expect magic in every game’: LA Galaxy’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic from LA Galaxy celebrates after scoring against LAFC during their Major League Soccer (MLS) game at the StarHub Center in Los Angeles, California. (AFP)
Updated 08 April 2018
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‘Don’t expect magic in every game’: LA Galaxy’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic

LONDON: Zlatan Ibrahimovic has warned LA Galaxy fans not to expect a a stunning show every time he takes the pitch.
The super Swede made an instant impression at his new club last week, when on debut he came off the bench to score twice, the first a brilliant volley from 35 yards, to seal a come-from-behind 4-3 win over Los Angeles FC.
He has spent everyday since since then hearing from fans and media who still can’t believe debut, something straight out of a Hollywood movie, actually happened.
But keen to manage expectations Ibrahimovic has told fans he is not, despite what he has said in the past, superman.
“Do I expect scoring goals like this in every game? No,” Ibrahimovic said.
“I can already kill the buzz. Every week will not be like this. Play good, prepare good, win the games, and that’s the way it works. ... A crazy game like that again? I hope not. I hope we can control the game better and play under control.
“I don’t expect crazy things every game. I’ll try, but it’s not often it goes in.”
The 36-year-old is set to make his second appearance for the Galaxy against Kansas City today. But Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid has not decided whether his Swedish superstar will make his first start. While Ibrahimovic looked invincible in his debut, the game was his first since Dec. 26 with Manchester United, and he will need time to reach full match fitness.
And as for Zlatan’s opening goal , nobody in LA is tired of watching the highlight just yet.
“As a coach, you learn not to get too high and not to get too low, but certainly that goal is as good a goal as you’ll see — ever,” Schmid said. “As I said when we showed the guys again on tape on Tuesday, I got goose bumps all over again. It’s a great goal.”
Ibrahimovic boldly declared his intention to win trophies when he arrived in Los Angeles last month, but he also wants to fit in well with his new team and its disparate collection of players gathered from Europe, South America and the US. And it is clear he has impressed with his work ethic and interest in every member of the roster. French wing Romain Alessandrini, who could return from injury Sunday, has already noticed the change in training.
“When you’re (playing with) a player like that, you give more than you have to give, because you have to be perfect with him,” Alessandrini said. “You have to give him the good ball. I think it’s good for everybody, because everybody wants to give more than they give.”


Centuries from Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan enough for India to crush Pakistan

Updated 27 min 4 sec ago
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Centuries from Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan enough for India to crush Pakistan

DUBAI: Openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan hit punishing centuries to steer an imperious India to a nine wicket win over a listless Pakistan in the Asia Cup match in Dubai on Sunday.
Sharma notched 119-ball 111 not out for his 19th one-day hundred while Dhawan made a 100-ball 114 for his eighth century as the pair put on 210 for the opening stand — second best in all India-Pakistan one-day internationals.
That super effort from the openers saw India overhaul the target with 10.3 overs to spare.
The Super four win is the second for India over arch-rivals following their easy eighth wicket win in the first round.
The win is India’s highest against Pakistan in terms of wickets, improving on the eight wicket win over Pakistan in Melbourne in 1985.
Pakistan were steered to 237-7 by Shoaib Malik who made 90-ball 78 after winning the toss and batting but it proved too little for the strong Indian batting line.
Pakistan could have got Sharma out in the sixth over but Imam-ul-Haq dropped an easy catch off a luckless Shaheen Shah, giving the colorful Indian power to smash seven boundaries and four sixes.
Sharma, who scored back to back fifties in the last two games, also became the ninth Indian batsmen to complete 7,000 one-day runs in his 187th match when he reached 94, soon after he was dropped on 81 by Fakhar Zaman off Shadab Khan.
Dhawan matches his skipper shot for shot, firing 100-ball 114 with 16 boundaries and two sixes as Pakistani bowlers had no clue to the rasping and flowing strokes of the Indian openers.
Pakistan’s pace spearhead Mohammad Amir, brought back in one of two changes after dropped for the Afghanistan match, went wicketless for a fifth match in a row, leaving the much vaunted Pakistan bowling biteless.
Even when Dhawan got out in the 34th over with 38 needed it was through a run out.
The best opening stand in Indo-Pak one-day internationals was 224 Mohammad Hafeez and Nasir Jamshed at Dhaka in 2012.
Earlier, Malik scored a 90-ball 78 with four boundaries and two sixes, but India kept a tight check on Pakistan’s progress.
Pakistan lost Imam (ten), Zaman (31) and Babar Azam (run out for nine) in an unimpressive start to their innings before Malik and skipper Sarfraz Ahmed added 107 for the fourth wicket.
Sarfraz scored a slow 66-ball 44 with only two boundaries before he became one of two Kuldeep Yadav’s wicket who finished with 2-41.
Pakistan’s final over score depended on Malik who crucially fell in the 44th over, caught behind off a leg-side edge off Jasprit Bumrah.
Asif Ali smashed two sixes in his 21-ball 30 before he was bowled by leg-spinner Yuzvndra Chahal who took 2-38 in his nine overs.
Bumran finished with 2-29 in his ten overs.