Chelsea rallies to beat DC United 2-1

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Chelsea rallied from a goal down on Thursday night to overcome DC United 2-1 in an exhibition match.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:54 IST
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Washington DC:

English League champions Chelsea rallied from a goal down on Thursday night to overcome DC United 2-1 in the first-ever game pitting reigning champions from the English Premier League and US Major League Soccer (MLS). It was only an exhibition - Chelsea is touring the United States to prepare for the start of its regular season next month - but the speed and poise of coach's Jose Mourinho $200 million roster was more than enough against the $2.2 million team fielded by United. United came out strong and with nothing to lose, showing they weren't afraid of Chelsea's 200 million dollar roster. DC rookie defender Bobby Boswell, who has scored only once during the MLS season, gave United the unlikely lead with a glancing header of Christian Gomez' corner kick in the 31st minute. And for four precious minutes, D.C. United was actually beating the champions of English football. Loud chants of "D.C." echoed among the 31,473 fans. Then Chelsea woke up. The most expensive team money can buy started to live up to its price tag. Striker Joe Cole and midfielder Shaun Wright-Phillips, acquired this summer for a $36.8 million transfer fee, set up the equaliser in the 35th minute. Cole flicked the ball to Wright-Phillips, who unleashed a perfect cross from the right wing directly onto the left foot of Irish national team player Damien Duff for a 10-metre volley into the net. But Chelsea controlled the game from then on. The winning goal came in the 56th minute for the Blues, when Arjen Robben and Hernan Crespo simply outran United's defenders on a counterattack. Robben poked the ball ahead to Crespo, who easily slid the ball past advancing goalkeeper Troy Perkins and into the back corner of the net. Chelsea held on to beat DC United in the exhibition match by a final score of 2-1. (AP)