In his homecoming, Oguchi Onyewu was nearly the hero.
With his new club, AC Milan, trailing in the 90th minute Friday night at M&T Bank Stadium, the Sherwood graduate got free for a header on a corner kick.
Onyewu's bid went just wide, and the Rossoneri fell to Chelsea, 2-1, spoiling the U.S. international's return to Maryland and keeping him winless in two appearances with Milan.
The sellout crowd of 71,203 stood and roared its approval when Onyewu's #14 lit up in green on the referee's glowing board at midfield signaling a substitution, and the 6-foot-2 defender entered for just his second appearance with the Rossoneri.
But just two minutes after his warm entrance, Onyewu's appearance was spoiled on a shot by Chelsea's Yuri Zhirkov following a frantic flurry of shots near the top of the box that gave Chelsea a 2-1 lead, and eventually the win.
Two brilliant goals in the first 45 minutes were worth the admission alone, the first a 35-yard laser from Chelsea forward Didier Drogba that found the upper corner on the far post. The second, Milan's equalizer, was a powerful shot from the seemingly ageless Clarence Seedorf on top of the 18-yard box on a feed from Brazilian star Ronaldinho, who held off a defender and touched back to the Dutch midfielder.
Ronaldinho, who was greeted with the loudest cheers during player introductions, seemed aware of the need to entertain the fans, showing his brilliance all over the field at different moments -- a bicycle-kick attempt inside the box that caromed off a teammate and a cheeky hop-touch pass in the first half and a nutmeg of a defender and curling free kick off the crossbar in the second.