By David Rogers. July 22, 2018. CHARLOTTE, NC — Chants of “USA,USA” seemed out of place when ringing out across Bank of America Stadium on Sunday. An official crowd of 55,447 watched two European mega powers battle as part of the International Champions Cup series, but credit American midfielder Christian Pulisic’s deciding goal for Borussia Dortmund in the 88th minute for the U.S soccer fans’ outburst of national pride.
All photographic images by Brad Batchelor for Blowing Rock News
Minutes later, Pulisic figured prominently in the game’s final goal as Germany’s Dortmund eleven outlasted England’s Liverpool, 3-1. The Hershey, PA native also scored Dortmund’s first goal, on a penalty kick.
While Dortmund dominated possession early, it was Liverpool that drew first blood less than 25 minutes into the first half. A pair of Liverpool defenders proved instrumental in the Reds’ opening salvo. Andy Robertson, a Scotland native who recorded 85% passing accuracy in his first 22 games with Liverpool, crossed a perfect floater to center that found teammate Virgil van Dijk leaping above BD’s defensive counterparts. A former Premier League star with Southampton, van Dijk’s header was a rifle shot past Dortmund’s goalkeeper, Marwin Hitz and into the back of the net.
Liverpool continued to be creative in attack, but each time was thwarted by the stingy German side’s defense for the rest of the game.
The Reds held their 1-0 lead into the locker room at intermission, but Borussia Dortmund seemed energized from the get-go in the warm, muggy conditions in the second half. Pulisic drew a foul in the penalty area near the 65-minute mark to earn the chance at a penalty kick, the foul conceded by Liverpool’s James Milner, a storied midfielder who at 16 years of age in 2002 was the youngest player to score a goal in the Premier League. Pulisic promptly punched the ball past Hitz to even things up at 1-1.
The American’s heroics in the 88th minute capped off a scintillating display of one touch passing with a quartet of Dortmund attackers participating the length of the field, up the left side, before Pulisic hammered it to the back of the net.
With two minutes of injury time tacked on by the referee, Dortmund was soon on attack once more. Pulisic’s shot from point-blank range in front of the goal was deflected back and to the attackers’ left side. Although replays appeared to show the ball slapped back into the net by a Liverpool defender for an “own goal,” the official scorekeepers ruled that Dortmund midfielder Jacob Bruun Larsen got his foot between the legs of the Reds’ fullback as both thrust their legs toward the ball, crediting the Danish player competing for Stuttgart-based Dortmund with the goal.
After defeating both Liverpool (3-1) on Sunday and Manchester City (1-0) on Friday, Borussia Dortmund stands atop the leaderboard in the International Champions Cup Series for 2018.
They play Portuguese powerhouse Benfica on July 25th, in Pittsburgh, for their final game of this USA tour.
Sunday’s match vs. Borussia Dortmund was Liverpool’s first of the ICC series, which matches 18 top European teams in three matches apiece between July 20th and August 11th. The Reds will play Manchester City on July 25th in East Rutherford, NJ’s MetLife Stadium, then will travel to Ann Arbor, MI to take on Manchester United in Michigan Stadium on July 28th.