New signing Raheem Sterling made his debut for Chelsea at the Clash of Nations against the MLS side, Charlotte FC, Wednesday night in North Carolina as the Blues lost 6-4 on penalties.
Christian Pulisic already put Chelsea in the lead with a lone goal in the 30th minute of the first half of the game until the 87th minute substitute, 16-year-old Brian Romario, got a penalty for the host courtesy Trevoh Challobah’s handball in the goal area.
Daniel Kros, who got the Man of the Match, converted the spot kick in the dying minutes of the game to the rancorous applause of most of the 52,673 spectators which included the state Governor Roy Cooper and other government officials, forcing the game into penalty shootouts.
The Bridge Boys’ chance of regaining their victory was, however, blown off when Conor Gallagher casually kicked his shot into the waiting hands of the motionless Kritijan Kahlina.
Sterling scored his penalty kick but the efforts of the £45.7m arrival from Manchester City couldn’t be said to be enough to stop the spirited Charlotte who netted four additional penalties in the encounter.
The Englishman gave the ball away on a number of occasions but did produce a rapid surge which left four defenders chasing him and a goal attempt the Charlotte shot stopper blocked with a foot.
Kamil Joswiak, who took the last shot, sent Eduard Mendy the wrong way before huge fireworks rent the skyline in uptown Charlotte.
The match opening witnessed a 45-minute delay due to thunderstorms in the Queen City area, followed by a severe weather alert on phones, urging soccer fans to shelter in the concourse of the Bank of America Stadium.
Chelsea will head to Orlando, Florida, to face the Premiership rivals, Arsenal, on Saturday for the last game in their tour.