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Chelsea's Christian Pulisic first U.S. male to score in Champions League semis

Chelsea forward Christian Pulisic, shown Oct. 28, 2020, scored the historic goal in the first half of his club's 1-1 draw with Real Madrid on Tuesday. File Photo by Ben Stansall/EPA-EFE
Chelsea forward Christian Pulisic, shown Oct. 28, 2020, scored the historic goal in the first half of his club's 1-1 draw with Real Madrid on Tuesday. File Photo by Ben Stansall/EPA-EFE

April 27 (UPI) -- Chelsea forward Christian Pulisic became the first United States men's soccer player to score a goal in the Champions League semifinals.

Pulisic's historic UCL goal came in the first half of Chelsea's 1-1 first-leg draw with Real Madrid on Tuesday at Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium in Madrid, Spain.

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The goal also was Pulisic's fifth in the Champions League, moving him past DaMarcus Beasley on the all-time U.S. men's scoring list in Europe's premier tournament.

Pulisic was alone in the penalty area at the 14-minute mark and cut around Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who came outside of the box to challenge the American. Pulisic then fired a shot between two defenders to give Chelsea an early 1-0 lead.

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The 22-year-old Pulisic also scored in the knockout round in 2017, when he was a member of German club Borussia Dortmund.

He is now the youngest player to score for Chelsea in the semifinals of the Champions League or later, passing Ramires, who did so at 25 years old against FC Barcelona in 2012.

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"It was a great finish, great composure," Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta said. "He's an amazing player, he's a young player, he's growing and improving. I'm very pleased with his goal because he's an important player for the team."

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Pulisic also is the first U.S. international to score in any competition against Real Madrid.

Real Madrid star Karim Benzema scored later in the first half to tie the game, leaving both clubs with all to play for in next week's second leg at Stamford Bridge.

"The goal was well deserved and we should have scored at least one more," Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said. "We conceded more or less out of nothing and that can always happen against individual quality.

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"It was a disappointing score at halftime. We had to stay calm and not lose confidence. The second half was very tactical, you could feel that we are a bit tired. We only had a few days to recover from another tough away game. We have to live with 1-1."

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