The Chelsea Development Squad have qualified for the quarter-finals of this season’s Checkatrade Trophy with a dramatic 2-1 victory over Sky Bet League One club Portsmouth at Fratton Park.
The Blues were leading the match 1-0 going into second half injury time courtesy of a Charly Musonda strike but Brett Pitman levelled matters for the hosts. The match looked destined to end a draw until Musonda’s stunning free-kick won it at the death.
A quiet opening produced little in the way of clear-cut chances for either side. New Pompey signing Connor Ronan tested Blues keeper Marcin Bulka from range before Callum Hudson-Odoi was denied by Luke McGee at the other end.
Portsmouth heaped on the pressure as a Jamal Lowe cross almost dipped in before Matt Clarke and Oliver Hawkins both headed chances wide. That wasn’t the end of the danger as Lowe forced a save from Bulka before Ronan saw a free-kick fly just over the bar.
Chelsea came out brighter for the second half and Joe Edwards’ men took the lead just before the hour when Musonda diverted Kyle Scott’s cross into the net.
The Blues continued to attack following the goal and Scott forced a good save from McGee after connecting with a Harvey St Clair cross before Ethan Ampadu’s acrobatic effort bounced well wide.
Chelsea looked to have won the match but two minutes into second half stoppage time, Portsmouth levelled when Pitman fired a loose ball into the net.
The two sides looked destined to go head-to-head in a penalty shootout until Musonda doubled his goal tally for the evening with a stunning free-kick at the death to secure victory for The Blues.