Raheem Sterling makes Chelsea debut in shootout defeat to Charlotte FC - in pictures

England forward played the second half of the pre-season friendly at the Bank of America Stadium

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Raheem Sterling made his first appearance as a Chelsea player on Wednesday night but was unable to lead his new team to victory against MLS side Charlotte FC.

Sterling, signed last week from Manchester City, was one of 10 changes made by Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel at half time at the Bank of America Stadium, and he showed early glimpses of his ability.

The England forward was denied a first goal after a good save from Charlotte goalkeeper George Marks, which would have given Chelsea a 2-0 lead. United States international Christian Pulisic, playing in a stadium just 500 miles from his home town, struck in the 30th minute to break the deadlock for the Blues.

However, Charlotte were given a lifeline in injury time when a Trevoh Chalobah handball gave the hosts the chance to equalise from the penalty spot. Daniel Rios duly converted the penalty to send the match into a shootout, which Charlotte won after Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher's poor effort was comfortably saved.

Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell, and Sterling all scored their penalties for Chelsea but Charlotte were faultless from the spot with midfielder Kamil Jozwiak slotted home the winning kick.

While there was a first appearance for Sterling, fellow new signing Kalidou Koulibaly is yet to get his first minutes in a Chelsea shirt. The Senegalese defender, signed from Napoli, could feature in Chelsea's final pre-season match in the United States when the Blues take on London rivals Arsenal in the Florida Cup in Orlando on Saturday.

Chelsea then have one more pre-season game against Udinese in Italy on July 29 before beginning their Premier League campaign away to Everton on August 6.

For the best photos from Chelsea's pre-season friendly against Charlotte, scroll through the gallery above. To move on to the next photo, click on the arrows or if using a mobile device, simply swipe.

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Updated: July 21, 2022, 4:55 AM