Crystal Dunn had “quite a brilliant performance,” according to the Chelsea Ladies website. (Andy Mead/YCJ Photo)
LONDON — Crystal Dunn’s debut with the Chelsea Ladies got off to a rousing start Sunday, scoring the first goal in their 7-0 romp of Doncaster in the England Women’s FA Cup Round of 16 at Wheatsheaf Park.
“It was a quite brilliant performance by the American,” the Chelsea Ladies website reported.
“What an amazing feeling to play in my First FA Cup match. Thanks to all the fans for welcoming me into the family.
#Chelsealadies,” Dunn said on Twitter.
Another newcomer, Ramona Bachmann, and Dunn ran roughshod over Doncaster in the opening half for the Blues, who booked a spot in the quarterfinals.
Dunn, who made life miserable for the defense and goalkeeper Nicky Davies for most of the match, was so influential that she received a standing ovation by the crowd when she was replaced by Erin Cuthbert in the 71st minute.
After the Rockville Centre, N.Y. native and former Albertson Fury standout signed with the English club, Chelsea head coach Emma Hayes, former Long Island Lady Riders coach, had this to say about the dynamo of a player at the National Soccer Coaches Association of America convention in January:
“At this moment in time she’s one of the top up-and-coming players in the world. Her rise has been steady, but every single person I speak to is always excited about her as a player. They’re complimentary to the impact she brings to the game, irrespective of her position.”
Dunn wasted little time writing her name on the scoresheet, connecting for the first goal in the 12th minute. Karen Carney sent a corner kick in the penalty area that was headed by Maren Mjelde. Goalkeeper Nicky Davies made the save, but Dunn drove a low shot into the net for a 1-0 advantage.
Davies made several big stops to keep the score within reason until Ji So-Yun struck for the first of her two on the day in the 33th minute. After the keeper denied Dunn, Davies made a mistake when the ball was played back in towards the South Korean international. She palmed the ball into Ji’s midriff to allow her a simple finish into an empty net.
After denying Dunn again on a hard shot from distance and knocking away Mjelde’s looping header off a corner kick, the U.S. international set up Ji for a 3-0 lead in the 37th minute and the rout was on.
The Blues added two more goals before the interval. Bachmann crossed the ball to Dunn, who was beaten to a tap-in by Doncaster’s Leandra Little, who slotted the ball into her net for an own goal in the 41st minute. Only four minutes later, Bachmann converted a Carney cross for goal No. 5.
Katie Chapman and substitute Drew Spence added second-half goals.