Didier Drogba's Montreal Impact debut was soured by Philadelphia Union as Sebastian Le Toux fired a winner against the hosts at Stade Saputo.
With the game still goalless heading into the final 30 minutes, former Chelsea striker Drogba was introduced from the bench, to a rapturous reception from a sell-out crowd.
But it would be another French-speaking player who broke the deadlock, with Le Toux turning Eric Ayuk's shot home at the far post in the 78th minute.
The 1-0 triumph sees Philadelphia pull four points clear of Eastern Conference basement boys Chicago Fire, who went down by the same scoreline at home to Colorado Rapids thanks to a first-minute goal from Dillon Serna.
Former Reading and Wolves forward Kevin Doyle sparked the move that sent Gabriel Torres down the wing and Serna was well-placed to tap in the cross.
Didier Drogba admitted manager Jose Mourinho's half-time pep talk inspired Chelsea to put one hand on the Premier League title.
They will win the league with victory over Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on Sunday following a 3-1 success at Leicester on Wednesday.
But Chelsea needed a half-time rallying call to come from behind following a sloppy first half and Marc Albrighton's opener at the King Power Stadium.
Drogba, who levelled just three minutes after the break, said:
Chelsea striker Didier Drogba intends to carry on playing next season, dismissing suggestions of retirement.
The 37-year-old is in his second spell at Stamford Bridge after returning last summer following two years away.
Asked if he had decided on his future, Drogba said: "Yes I have and it's not going to be my last season."
Didier Drogba says he doesn't want to leave Chelsea in the summer when his contract expires.
It is thought the Ivorian will be offered the chance to take up a coaching role at Stamford Bridge when his playing days come to an end.
"When you have achieved so much and won so many trophies like we have done in the past 10 years, that creates something special," Drogba said.
"I hope, and the club makes me believe, I am part of this big family, so we are going to find the best thing for both of us to promote the club in the best way."
Drogba added: "When I left this club (the first time), I was saying that I had done everything I wanted to do, but I think now that I did not do everything, I think there is more to do.
"I love this club and would love to be part of this club for the future, with the new players."
The transfer which brought Didier Droga to Chelsea more than ten years ago is being investigated by French police, who are also looking into Samir Nasri's move from the same club to Arsenal in 2008.
Drogba officially joined Chelsea from Marseille for £28.8m in 2004, although it's alleged the French club only received £26.3m for the striker, who has since left and rejoined the Premier League leaders.
Marseille president Vincent Labourne was arrested on Tuesday in relation to the purchase of striker Andre-Pierre Gignac in 2010, with authorities also suspicious over how money was distributed in his move from Toulouse.
Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba responded to reports that he may be fined by the Turkish FA for displaying a shirt that read "thank you Madiba" by saying "if I had to, I would do it again and again."
Both he and fellow Galatasaray and Ivory Coast teammate Emmanuel Eboue revealed vests paying tribute to Nelson Mandela following the Turkish club's 2-0 win on Friday evening.
The Turkish FA are reportedly threatening to fine the pair because they did not seek permission to wear the shirts.
The Ivory Coast striker said on his Drogba Foundation Twitter page: "Not because of political beliefs - this man (Mandela) inspired me, a country, a continent, the world! Thanks again Madiba."
Former newspaper editor Piers Morgan said he would "happily pay" any fine Drogba might be given by the Turkish FA.
Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand tweeted that he was looking forward to playing against Didier Drogba's team this summer, who earlier confirmed that he had joined Shanghai Shenhua.
Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has confirmed that he has signed with Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua on a two-and-a-half year deal.