Philadelphia, PA, United States (4E Sports) – Seattle Sounders striker Eddie Johnson ripped a right-footer in the first minute of stoppage time to lift the MLS All-Stars past Chelsea, 3-2, Wednesday in the MLS All-Star Game at PPL Park
In his first All-Star appearance since 2007, Johnson booted in a right-footer from the top of the box that skipped off the outstretched leg of Chelsea defender David Luiz and past helpless goalkeeper Ross Turnbull for the winner.
Johnson’s heroic helped the All-Stars snap a three-game losing skid in the annual MLS football exhibition against European counterparts. It was also the second straight victory for the All-Stars against Chelsea, whom they defeated in 2006.
Chris Wondolowski capitalized on a miscue by Chelsea star John Terry in the box and scored in the 21st minute from an assist by Thierry Henry.
Terry atoned for his earlier mistake by puncturing a header in the 32nd minute before Frank Lampard gave Chelsea the lead in the 58th minute with another goal.
The All-Stars, however, used the all-D.C. United connection between Dwayne De Rosario and Chris Pontius in the 73rd minute to tie the game.
De Rosario tracked down the ball in the corner, got a step inside and dished back to a streaking Pontius, who coolly slotted a shot past Turnbull to level the match at 2-2.
Pontius, in his first All-Star appearance, was later named Most Valuable Player.
“We’re all competitors here and we all want to win,” said Vancouver Whitecaps defender Jay DeMerit of the victory. “I think in the second half the game slowed down a bit but we had equal chances so the fact that we came away winners is a feather in our cap.”
“As the game opens up, it’s always hard,” said DeMerit of defending the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Lampard. “We stayed with our six in the back. Alonso and Beckham really got in their way and broke things up when they needed to. That’s what you need to do. We headed things away and we battle it out and we did that tonight.”
Sporting KC’s Graham Zusi said the atmosphere inside PPL Park was another reason why the All-Stars were able to push on to victory.
“I had a blast,” first-time All-Star Zusi said. “It was a great environment and the fans were amazing. Not everyday you get to play a team like Chelsea. It was a lot of fun and the result was an added bonus for us.”