While Alexis Mac Allister continued to celebrate with the world champions’ medal in Argentina, his Brighton team-mates were eliminated on penalties by League One Charlton in the Carabao Cup.
Ashley Maynard-Brewer was the Addicks’ hero, saving from Moises Caicedo after the Seagulls missed three of their own penalties after a goalless 90 minutes.
While Brighton’s other World Cup representatives were brought back down to earth in the Valley, Mac Allister posted snaps of himself hugging Lionel Messi and showing his medal to family and friends at home.
Brighton’s departure will hardly have ruined his week but it will feel like a missed opportunity for the Seagulls, who squandered a host of chances before falling from the spot.
Solly March missed a sitter in regulation time before taking the winning penalty over the bar.
Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi said: “We made a lot of mistakes in the last few yards.
“We had a match point with March but we made another mistake.
“If you make mistakes like that, you have to lose the game.”
There was a smile for Charlton, who sits 18th in the third division, as new manager Dean Holden watched from the stands.
Off the pitch, chaos may have erupted again as fans declared they had no faith in Danish owner Thomas Sandgaard, but there were still loud celebrations as they finished in the last eight of the tournament for the first time since 2007.
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Australia’s Maynard-Brewer said: “When full-time went and it went to penalties I was quite relieved.
“It shows what this club is capable of. One of the big dogs in the next round would be unreal.”
Charlton sat deep early but Brighton’s only chance of the first half saw Adam Lallana send a try over the crossbar.
The hosts came out of their shell as Jack Payne drove forward and sliced inside from the left before firing a low shot into Jason Steele’s arms.
Steele then had to put his body on the line after Levi Colwill and then Lewis dunk dumped both passes back to their keeper, who had to charge out and clattered from Charlton’s Miles Leaburn.
Dunk then had to bring himself to give Steven Sessegnon a final block.
The Seagulls gave Maynard-Brewer more pause after the break as Deniz Undav and Billy Gilmour both made saves.
Colwill narrowly missed a Pascal Gross free-kick and his header went just over the bar.
March delivered the evening’s worst miss as he weaved through a sea of red shirts to go one on one from six yards only to roll his effort wide.
Charlton held on and Maynard-Brewer was there again to turn substitute Leandro Trossard’s attempt into a corner.
Crosses from Pervis Estupinan and Tariq Lamptey both rolled over the six-yard box and took only a blue shirt to tap them in, but none came.
Brighton was just as wasteful from the point. Gross and Trossard hit the bar and set up either side of Charlton’s Jayden Stockley, who also hits the woodwork.
Jake Forster-Caskey and Evan Ferguson both converted before Steele saved from George Dobson and Rak-Sakyi, but March continued the comedy of errors, letting Charlton back in.
Lamptey blew up his house as we entered sudden death, but Maynard-Brewer denied Caicedo before Sam Lavelle fired home the winning penalty for the Addicks.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/soccer/6968571/mac-allister-brighton-charlton-carabao-cup/ Argentine world champion Alexis Mac Allister’s Brighton team-mates are beaten by Charlton KO in the Carabao Cup penalty shootout