With star winger Marco Reus sidelined, Borussia Dortmund turned to Christian Pulisic for what was certainly the biggest game of the season. The U.S. Men’s National Team provided in a big way, leading the German club the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals.
After assisting Dortmund’s first goal of the evening, Pulisic scored Dortmund’s second goal of a 4-0 win over Benfica. The goal proved a game-winner, as Dortmund overturned a 1-0 first leg deficit to seal a win over the Portuguese powerhouse.
Pulisic’s day started early as the American winger helped setup the goal that equalized the two-leg tie. Just four minutes into the game, Pulisic flicked on a header from a Dortmund corner, finding Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the back post to tie the aggregate scoreline at one apiece.
Dream start for BVB as Pulisic gets the assist, flicking it on to Aubameyang for the early goal. #UCL #BVBSBL https://t.co/gi9ZpX4UbT
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) March 8, 2017
In the 59th minute, Pulisic fired his game-winner, his first career Champions League goal. The 18-year-old winger timed his run perfectly, beating Benfica’s line to get on the end of a Lukas Piszczek through-ball. Pulisic then showed the composure to chip a shot up and over an onrushing Ederson, leaving the Benfica goalkeeper helpless as Dortmund took the 2-1 aggregate lead.
Aubameyang sealed the deal just two minutes later to make the score 3-1, leading Dortmund into the quarterfinals. With the match winding down, Pulisic then helped set up Dortmund’s fourth, providing a key pass as Aubameyang completed his hat-trick.
Here’s a look at Pulisic’s goal:
PULISIC! What a finish, and what a moment to get your 1st career Champions League goal! @cpulisic_10 #UCL #BVBSLB https://t.co/GADtrg7qBT
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) March 8, 2017
Simply put, he is in the perfect situation. I’m not saying he will ever be a top goal scorer, but I think it is very reasonable that he can be a 12g/15a guy for many years while be the main option at attacking mid.
I pray he stays at Dortmund till after the world cup. I’d love to see him at Tottenham making that EPL money
You realize Dortmund is richer than Tottenham right (barely)?
And that is the value of Dortmund missing out on CL last year.
Try to forget he’s American. If you had watched that game, I think most people who watched the game and the other Borussia Dortmann games this year would say that he is becoming an extraordinary player for them. His combination of speed, technical ability, fearlessness, and vision are truly incredible. I cannot think of another 18 year old playing in one of the major soccer leagues that I would rather have. How lucky is he and the USMNT that he has found the perfect team and situation. I could see Barcelona knocking on the door although I hope he stays for more years with BD.
Arriola keeping it going with a goal against Club America
Remember how many clowns on this blog said he wasn’t ready or pump the breaks on pulisic less than a year ago? Where are you now?
Like didn’t think he should start for the USMNT…..they should all be banned from posting comments on this site for their lack of credibility
*Two assists, first and third goals for Auba.
The third Auba goal was assisted by Durm, the announcer got it wrong on the first call, he had overlapped Pulisic. Two different sites confirm that, I’ve watch several highlight reels and its hard to tell, but I’m pretty sure its Durm.
Johnny is right
Didn’t look like he was playing on the wing to me. He was right under Auba. What a responsibility for an 18yr old!
Since Dortmund switched formations to a 3-4-3, he’s been more central, also probably why he hasn’t played as much lately because it fits Reus, Castro, and Dembele better. Its more inline with where he played as a youth for the US.
You guys know far more than I do about the game, but as I watched it, I thought they were in a 4-2-3-1. With Wiegel and Castro as the 2 and Pulisic in the middle of the 3. I guess I had it wrong. Either way, he roamed from side to side and was the best player on the pitch for much of the game. Auba got 3 goals, but besides making the run on the second and third goals he didn’t have much to do. In fact, Pulisic gave him at least 2 other great chances that he didn’t finish.
Love the “Lebron” stomp down at 00:32!! Kid’s got swag too.
Beautiful. Pulisic, Wood and Green…very bright spots in US Soccer
Pulisic, Wood, Green, CCV, Miazga, Hyndman, Zelalem, Morris, Gooch, Perez, Wright, etc….
There are a LOT of quality players to get excited about for the future of US Soccer.
I like the players you listed there and think the future looks bright, but it wasn’t that long ago we were getting excited about Gyau, Gatt, and Lletget playing in the youth ranks in Europe. Before that it was Kenny Cooper and Jonathan Spector. Pulisic and Wood have shown what they can do and Hyndman has shown a good start for Rangers, Morris appears to at least be a good MLS striker, but the rest of your list hasn’t accomplished anything in Europe at a level above MLS.
Miazga has been seeing 1st team minutes in the Dutch league (not great, but still promising).
CCV has been on the Bench for Tot, and been seeing Cup matches (Good for a 20 yr old CB)
Gooch was getting starts before sidelined by an injury, will hopefully be back shortly.
Green is heading for promotion w/ his new club. Will hopefully be a starter next season.
Agree that Perez, Wright, Zelalem are further away, but still reason for hope for the future.
Not sure how he would do in the net or as a centerback.
This kid, Pulisic, I think he’s gonna be alright…
Now, if the US could only find 10 more Pulisic’s, they would be a world power.
I asked this in the running commentary, but i’ll drop it here too: Has any other american ever scored in knockout rounds?
Read he was the youngest ever to score for Dortmund and the 7th American to score in the CL, not sure about the knockout rounds.
Kirovski played in the knockout stage but not sure if he scored. He’s the only American to win it. Don’t believe Sacha or Beasley scored in the knockout stage.
In the year Kirovski’s Dortmund won the Champions League, kirovski did not make the gameday roster in the knockout rounds or the finals, he did however appear in a few games in the group stage.
Not too many Americans have scored in any game of the Champion League, from the qualifying rounds to the finals, so Pulisic’s goals in the knockout stage may be the first. While Beasley apperared for PSV in the knockout stages, he did not score.
One of the few Americans to score in Champions League play was Chula Vista’s and Chivas USA’s Cesar Romero, who scored for Pynunik, the then Armenian Champions in one of the preliminary rounds two years ago. Romero then went to the Macedonian champions Vardar and then returned to Mexico and played for Coras Tepic, with an eye to making the Chivas team. A series of injuries derailed that and he found himself this year in the Maltese Premier League.
March 9, 2005 Beasley scored in the 69th against Monaco in the Rnd of 16, I believe that’s the only one.
41 Second mark
And Jermaine Jones converted his kick when Schalke went to Pks in 2008 to advance to the quarter finals, but that doesn’t count as a goal since it was in the shootout.
Just was reading the match review on Uefa.com and they do give credit to Jones for having scored a knockout goal for his PK in the shootout.