USMNT in Champions League: Pulisic Scores, Draws PK Off Bench for Chelsea

Publish date:

The American contingent in the Champions League was largely confined to the bench on Wednesday, but that didn't mean there wasn't any room to contribute.

Christian Pulisic came off the bench in the 71st minute for Chelsea, drew a penalty and scored the final goal of a 4-0 rout of Krasnodar in Russia in one of the two early games on the day across Europe's premier competition.

Pulisic, who recently returned from injury, scored his first goal of the season and tied DaMarcus Beasley's record for an American in the Champions League with his fourth career goal in the competition with his 90th minute finish, a near-post tally from close range.

Earlier, minutes after his inclusion, Pulisic received a pass after a run down the middle, and his shot from inside the box hit off the hand of a Krasnodar defender for a penalty kick that Timo Werner went on to convert to make it 2-0.

The only American to earn the start on Wednesday was Gio Reyna, who was given his first start in Champions League play by Dortmund vs. Zenit Saint Petersburg. He nearly scored, putting an early shot wide of the post, and he also absorbed a harsh tackle and got up limping on a first-half tackle, though he shook it off and remained in the game. He came off in the 84th minute, with Dortmund leading 1-0 on the strength of a Jadon Sancho penalty kick. Erling Haaland's insurance goal gave Dortmund a 2-0 victory.

Weston McKennie (Juventus vs. Barcelona), Sergiño Dest (Barcelona vs. Juventus), Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig vs. Man United) and Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge vs. Lazio) were the other Americans whose teams were in action on Wednesday.

For McKennie, he had yet to play since being cleared of the coronavirus prior to his entry in the 75th minute on Wednesday. As for Dest, Sergi Roberto was preferred over the 19-year-old despite his impressive showing in El Clasico last weekend, and Dest remained on the bench throughout his side's 2-0 win in Turin.

Adams is recovering from a knee injury suffered in training, so his exclusion from RB Leipzig's 5-0 defeat to Man United wasn't all that surprising, and Brugge starting goalkeeper Simon Mignolet was cleared of coronavirus, sending Horvath back to the bench for Wednesday's 1-1 draw despite his performance in last week's win over Zenit.