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Morgan, Dunn see weekend action in Europe

Crystal Dunn played her first match for Chelsea Ladies in front of the home fans. (photo: Chelsea Ladies)

Crystal Dunn played her first match for Chelsea Ladies in front of the home fans. (photo: Chelsea Ladies)

Alex Morgan and Crystal Dunn were both in action this weekend for their respective new clubs, but it was another American, Ella Masar McLeod, who stole the show as she headed home late to deny Dunn’s Chelsea a friendly match win. The London club, who signed the Washington Spirit forward before Christmas in one of the biggest deals in the history of the FA Women’s Super League (FAWSL), hosted Masar’s FC Rosengard in a friendly just south of London at Carshalton Athletic FC on Sunday.

This was the first opportunity supporters of Chelsea had of seeing Dunn in the flesh, and after a slow start, she soon grew into the game and was a constant thorn in the Rosengard defense. She was deployed as a center forward in a front three, flanked by So-Yun Ji and Gemma Davison, with her pace causing plenty of problems for the Swedish club’s back line.

Although not able to score in the 90 minutes she played, Dunn had at least five or six efforts on goal, forcing a good save out of Rosengard keeper Zecira Musovic in the first half.

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As seen many a time during her career in the NWSL, Dunn is also a provider as well as a scorer, and it was her lay-off to Chelsea captain Katie Chapman that saw the England midfielder strike the ball home to give the home side a 2-1 lead.

However, it would be Masar McLeod who had the final say on the game, as she headed home a late equalizer for her side as the spoils were shared with a 2-2 draw. Lotta Schelin and Karen Carney scored the other goals for Rosengard and Chelsea respectively.

Alex Morgan hit both posts on the weekend but could not find the back of the net for French leaders Lyon (Photo Copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

Alex Morgan hit both posts on the weekend but could not find the back of the net for French leaders Lyon (Photo Copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

Meanwhile in a later kick-off in France, Alex Morgan made her first appearance at the impressive Parc Olympique Lyonnais Stadium – the men’s stadium reserved for the women’s team’s bigger matches. Morgan would have to be content with a place on the bench as coach Gérard Prêcheur opted to go with Ada Hegerberg and Eugénie Le Sommer up front as they hosted rivals Juvisy.

Lyon were cruising 3-1 at half-time due to a double from Hegerberg and a solitary strike from Amel Majiri, before Morgan was introduced for the second 45 minute period, in place of Hegerberg. She did everything but score, having at least half a dozen efforts on goal, hitting both posts in the process, and forcing a good save out of Juvisy keeper, Céline Deville. But the U.S forward was a threat, worked hard, and got herself into scoring positions.

Having had a week at the club, then back stateside to Los Angeles for national team camp, and then back to Lyon after, Morgan’s start to life in France has been disjointed.

Post match, speaking to French Eurosport, she said: “I guess today just wasn’t my day. I’m getting settled in more, and getting used to my teammates. Everything was new, but I’m getting settled.”

Lyon went onto win the game 5-2, with Saki Kumagai adding a penalty, and Le Sommer rounding off the scoring for the home side. Clara Mateo and Ines Jaurena scored for Juvisy.

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