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Christian Pulisic goals help Borussia Dortmund top Liverpool during International Champions Cup

Borussia Dortmund's Christian Pulisic dribbles the ball against Liverpool in the International Champions Cup on Sunday, July 22, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Mitchell Northam, Pro Soccer USA)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Loud enough so the folks in the press box could hear them, a cluster of fans inside Bank of America Stadium started chanting, “USA! USA! USA!”

This came in the 89th minute, after Christian Pulisic scored his second goal of the day for Borussia Dortmund. Thanks to a pair of strikes from the young American star, the Bundesliga side topped Liverpool 3-1 in front of an announced crowd of 55,447 fans at the International Champions Cup match.

Pulisic’s second goal of the day was the game-winner, breaking a 1-1 draw. Marcel Schmelzer carried the ball into the final third on the left wing before playing a low, hard pass to the 19-year-old from Hershey, Pa. Pulisic took a touch at the top of the box, then fired a shot with his right foot that caused him to fall over. The ball glided just inside the left post for the go-ahead score.

After sitting out the first half, Pulisic was subbed on at halftime with a handful of other Dortmund players. Dortmund manager Lucien Favre used 20 players in the match, while Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp used 21. There are no limits on substitutions in the International Champions Cup.

Klopp had to use one substitute in the first half after Joel Matip limped off in the 22nd minute with what the team called a “muscle injury.”

Liverpool led 1-0 at the half after Virgil van Dijk scored off a corner kick. The 25th minute set piece was played short to Andrew Robertson, whose cross into the penalty area connected with van Dijk’s head. The 27-year-old defender from the Netherlands came to Liverpool on a transfer in January. It was just the second time that he has scored for Liverpool.

“It was a great atmosphere. I didn’t know there were so many (Liverpool) fans (in the United States) as well,” van Dijk said. “It was a good corner. We practice it a lot. I was in a good position to score really easy in the end.”

Egyptian forward Mo Salah, who led the English Premier League in scoring with 32 goals this past season, was at the game in Charlotte, but didn’t see the pitch. He was dressed in street clothes on the sideline.

Down 1-0 at the half, Pulisic notched the equalizer in the 64th minute after drawing a penalty. The 5-foot-8 winger dribbled into the box from the top-right side, but was then stonewalled by a pair of Liverpool defenders. Moments later, Pulisic beat Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius with a low penalty shot to the left.

Pulisic nearly tallied a hat trick in the 93rd minute, but his shot was swatted away by Karius. However, that ball landed at the feet of Dortmund’s Jacob Bruun Larsen, who put a close-range shot into the roof of the goal for his side’s third and final goal of the game.

Some viewed Sunday’s game as a tryout of sorts for Pulisic in regards to garnering a transfer offer from Liverpool. The American midfielder’s name has swirled in transfer rumors recently and Klopp spoke highly of him on Saturday.

“I like Christian, I’ve known him since he was a kid and he’s still not really old. He’s a fantastic player and it’s deserved that people think highly of him in America — in Germany it’s the same,” Klopp told ESPN. “If he wants to play in England one day or whatever and he, for sure, has the chance to do so. But in this moment he’s in a really good club for his development. They know him already.”

Pulisic walked through the media mixed zone three times Sunday, but he did not stop to speak to reporters. He did, however, stop security from hauling away a young fan who ran onto the pitch after the match. After intervening, Pulisic took a selfie with the boy and signed an autograph for him.

When asked about Pulisic’s play after the match, Dortmund’s Favre summed it up in one word: “Excellent.”




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