Christian Pulisic scores historic goal, exits FA Cup final with injury

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Chelsea's Christian Pulisic walks off the pitch after an injury during the FA Cup final between Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley stadium in London, England, Saturday, Aug.1, 2020. (Catherine Ivill/Pool via AP)

LONDON — Christian Pulisic became the first American man to score in an FA Cup final before being forced off with an apparent hamstring injury at the start of the second half.

The 21-year-old winger gave Chelsea a 1-0 lead over Arsenal in the fifth minute at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, slotting in from close range after being set up by Olivier Giroud’s flick.

Pulisic’s 11th goal in all competitions in his first season at Chelsea was cancelled out by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from the penalty spot for 1-1.

But Pulisic only lasted a minute of the second half. He pulled up shouting in agony in the penalty area and managed a shot before going down clutching his right knee. He had to be helped off the pitch, with support either side while he grimaced.

The injury could place into doubt Pulisic’s hopes of playing next Saturday in the Champions League round of 16 as Chelsea seeks to overturn a 3-0 deficit against Bayern Munich.

The 139th FA Cup final is the first to be played in front of no fans due to coronavirus pandemic restrictions.

Other American men to play in an FA Cup final include midfielder John Harkes for Sheffield Wednesday in 1993, and goalkeeper Tim Howard for Manchester United in 2004 and Everton in 2009.

The Women’s FA Cup has already seen an American scorer in a final, with Carli Lloyd netting in Manchester City’s 4-1 win over Birmingham in 2017.

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