Charlotte FC 1-1 (5-3 p/k) Chelsea, Friendly: post-match reaction

Still 90 minutes in the books for this preseason, and luckily, as this one looked in doubt for a hot minute as thunder and lightning rolled through Charlotte, North Carolina and caused a delay of 65 minutes for kick off.

But eventually we started, and both teams came out with every effort and intention, with Charlotte striker Karol Świderski especially taking this opportunity to raise his level.

But Chelsea’s quality shone through in what had been a fairly even first half so far, with Christian Pulisic the beneficiary of a lucky deflection off a Michy Batshuayi shot, presented with an easy chance of heading home at the 30th minute.

Chelsea really activated him after the goal and dominated the rest of the half, coming close on several occasions but not quite able to beat goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina, who also made an excellent change.

A fully rotated Chelsea (except for the goalkeeper) lost all that rhythm in the second half and made the opposition’s time much heavier.

Eventually, we put together some smooth moves in the final quarter of the game, but failed to make them count. Mason Mount and Raheem Sterling made a great save each, but it was pretty toothless otherwise in the second 45.

And then Charlotte won a penalty in the dying seconds of the match for a share of the “spoils”.

And then it still wasn’t over. Confusion reigned but eventually there was a penalty shootout, just like the last time we played a pre-season game here.

Still, after all that, at least no injuries and a bit more fitness.

Carefree.

  • First half XI (3-4-3): Mendy | Emerson, Silva, James | Alonso, Kovačić, Jorginho (c), Hudson-Odoi | Pulisic, Batshuayi, Ziyech
  • XIth half (3-4-3): Mendy | Sarr, Colwill, Chalobah | Chilwell, Gallagher, Ampadu, Kenedy | Sterling, Havertz, Mont (c)
  • Charlotte PKs: Rios (scores), Makoun (scores), Walkes (scores), Mora (scores), Jóźwiak (scores)
  • Chelsea PK: Havertz (scores), Chilwell (scores), Gallagher (saved), Sterling (scores)
  • Next stop: Against Arsenal in Orlando, FL on Saturday in the final game of the USA Tour
  • KTBFFH

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