Chelsea Pushes Past Club America in WFC

Franco DiSanto and Florent Malouda each set up the other for a goal in the span of two minutes in the second half to lead Chelsea to a 2-0 win over Club America on Sunday in the final game of the World Football Challenge.

Malouda took a pass from Ashley Cole and chipped it in front of the goal, where DiSanto beat Club America goalkeeper Armando Navarrete to the ball and knocked it into the net in the 76th minute.

Two minutes later, DiSanto, a halftime substitute, beat defender Oscar Rojas along the end line and dropped a ball back to Malouda, who fired it past Navarrete from about 12 yards out.

"It is very important for a young player like me to take advantage of every single opportunity," said DiSanto, 20, who made 16 appearances as a sub last season. "I'm just beginning with the Chelsea and I want to stay here."

Chelsea went undefeated in winning the four-team, round robin-style tournament, which was played in six cities across the United States over the last week. Club America was second, one point ahead of Inter Milan. AC Milan finished fourth.

The goals came about 15 minutes after Club America failed to capitalize on two of its best scoring opportunities. In the 61st minute, Chelsea goalkeeper Ross Turnbull pushed Enrique Esqueda's shot wide. Two minutes later, Pavel Pardo's free kick from 35 yards out glanced off the head of forward Salvador Cabanas, who flicked the ball off the post.

Esqueda also missed on back-to-back scoring chances in the first half, when goalkeeper Hilario tipped away a header. A minute later, Esqueda's shot missed just wide.

Chelsea outshot Club America 18-10, with 11 of those shots coming in the second half when the English Premier League team controlled the run of play.

Turnbull and Hilario combined for four saves. Navarrete finished with three saves for Club America, which plays in Mexico's Primera Division. Each team received a yellow card.

Chelsea kept most of its famous names on the bench. Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, Michael Ballack and John Terry, who announced he would return to Chelsea, did not play.

Club America was without star goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, who earlier in the day led Mexico to a 5-0 win over the United States in the championship of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Coach Jesus Ramirez took several players off the field in the second half, saying he was saving them for an upcoming match against Mexican club San Luis.

"It is hard to take off most of our starting team because everybody wanted to continue on the field," Ramirez said through a translator. "We have to be smart, because we need most our players ready for this Wednesday."

The game was the second sporting event at the new Cowboys Stadium, which last week was the site of a pair of Gold Cup quarterfinal matches. The crowd of 57,229 mostly favored Club America, but was about 25,000 fewer than the turnout last week to see Mexico's national team.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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