Blues lose shootout on historic evening for MLS workforce

Chelsea continued their pre-season preparations with a 5-3 penalty shootout loss in opposition to MLS aspect Charlotte FC, following a 1-1 draw over 90 minutes early on Thursday morning.

The Blues got here into the match on the again of a 2-1 win in opposition to Liga MX giants Club America final outing. With the Premier League season quick approaching, efficiency and sharpness are turning into equally necessary.

But if Chelsea thought they might have a simple journey on the Bank of America Stadium, they had been sorely mistaken.

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Naturally, the Premier League aspect dominated possession, but it surely was Charlotte who created the perfect of the early possibilities, with Poland worldwide Karol Swiderski going shut a few instances, whereas Peruvian winger Yordy Reyna rattled the put up with a long-range effort to check Reece James all through.

Chelsea rode the storm and eventually took the lead after half an hour, with United States worldwide Christian Pulisic firing residence from shut vary after selecting up a fortunate breakaway.

Although each side exchanged blows, it remained 1-0 at half-time, with Charlotte altering their complete beginning line-up and solely Edouard Mendy returning for Chelsea – Raheem Sterling coming off the bench for his debut.

But nonetheless, Charlotte matched their Premier League guests and created a lot of possibilities, the standout being a skilful effort from Andre Shinyashiki that pressured a low save from Mendy.

It seemed like Charlotte wouldn’t give you the option to seek out a breakthrough in opposition to such illustrious opposition, regardless of their sturdy efficiency. But within the closing moments of the sport, teenage substitute Brian Romero charged into the field and fired a shot at objective that was blocked by Trevoh Chalobah’s hand. Daniel Rios stepped up and made no mistake to power a shootout.

Rios stepped up first within the shootout, beating Mendy with a Panenka, whereas CLTFC teammates Christian Makoun, Anton Walkes, Joseph Mora and Kamil Jozwiak all discovered the online.

Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell and Raheem Sterling scored for Chelsea, however Conor Gallagher was the unfortunate man to overlook out.

It was a historic evening for Charlotte FC, whereas Chelsea walked away with extra useful pre-season minutes beneath their belts.

Reyna fought laborious in opposition to James. / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The match ended considerably after half-time (till the closing moments) however the opening 45 minutes had been usually lit up by Yordy Reyna. The 28-year-old put England worldwide Reece James beneath immense stress all through, utilizing his pace to use gaps behind the defender and beating him in a lot of one-on-ones.

Reyna scored a good looking objective within the weekend’s defeat to Inter Miami and nearly did it once more from distance right here, with solely the put up denying him what might have been the objective of his profession to date. Especially in the case of the opposition.

But Reyna was actually CLTFC’s largest risk and might take coronary heart in such a powerful efficiency in opposition to Premier League defenders.

CHRISTIAN PULISIC OPENS RECEPTION FOR CHELSEA AT HOME GOAL! πŸ”₯πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

(by way of @ESPNFC) pic.twitter.com/h5zWKtDc83

β€” USMNT Only (@usmntly) July 21, 2022

Eyes had been at all times going to be on Pulisic when enjoying in entrance of an American crowd, however he actually rose to the event in the primary half.

It was Pulisic, in fact, who opened the scoring after half-hour, ending calmly from shut vary after a deflected shot crossed his path.

But greater than that, Pulisic was the one Chelsea participant who by no means turned down a likelihood to place the Charlotte protection on the again foot with pace and direct working. The USMNT star’s motion created all kinds of gaps and he meshed fantastically with Michy Batshuayi.

A pointy 45 minutes from a participant who has seen his health and dedication questioned at instances.

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