Chelsea hero Didier Drogba announced himself to America by scoring a hat-trick on his first Major League Soccer start as Montreal Impact beat Chicago Fire 4-3.
The 37-year-old striker, who left Stamford Bridge for a second time in the summer, made his Montreal bow as a substitute in a 1-0 defeat to Philadelphia Union last month.
But the Ivorian made a bigger impact on his full debut on Saturday as he bagged a treble, including the equaliser and winner, in a seven-goal thriller in Canada.
Drogba opened the scoring, and his MLS account, with an assist from another former Premier League player Nigel Reo-Coker, controlling his cross, turning and finishing with the outside of his right foot.
Wandrille Lefevre also scored for Impact before the break, but Chicago were 3-2 ahead at the hour mark as Jeff Larentowicz’s equaliser and goals from Gilberto and Kennedy Igboananike overturned the deficit.
Montreal were only behind for two minutes as Drogba grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck, levelling with a left-footed shot into the roof of the net to make the scores 3-3, and then heading in from just a couple of yards out four minutes later after his own shot had been rebounded.
Drogba is quoted by Montreal Impact’s official website as saying: “It’s a new start with a new coach, but it’s the same season. We were missing some players tonight, but guys stepped up and showed they could contribute to the team. We showed some good things in coming back to win this game.”
The former Ivory Coast international, who is his country’s all-time leading scorer with 65 goals in 105 international appearances, is the first player to net a hat-trick within his opening two MLS matches.
He bagged 164 goals in 381 games over the course of two spells at Chelsea, helping the Blues to four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups and the 2011-12 Champions League.
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