Christian Pulisic Scores Twice as Dortmund Beat Liverpool 3-1 at 2018 ICC

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 22, 2018

Liverpool's goalkeeper Loris Karius (L) is scored upon by Borussia Dortmund's Christian Pulisic (R) from a free kick during the 2018 International Champions Cup at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, on July 22, 2018. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP)        (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
JIM WATSON/Getty Images

Christian Pulisic scored twice on Sunday as Borussia Dortmund came from behind to beat Liverpool 3-1 in the International Champions Cup at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Virgil van Dijk opened the scoring with a first-half header, but the American cancelled it out with a penalty in the 66th minute.

In one minute of normal time remaining, the 19-year-old struck again with a fine finish into the bottom corner, and Dortmund added a third four minutes later when Loris Karius parried Pulisic's effort into the path of Jacob Bruun Larsen.


Liverpool Lucky for Alisson's Addition After Karius' Near-Howler

Liverpool made Roma stopper Alisson the most expensive goalkeeper in the world on Thursday when they signed him for £65 million, and with just three minutes on the clock, Karius reminded them exactly why they needed an upgrade between the sticks.

The German has been unable to put his calamitous performance in the UEFA Champions League final behind him and has had a pre-season to forget as a result.

He had a heart-in-the-mouth moment early on when he rushed out to deal with a long ball, only to pass it straight to Maximilian Philipp (UK viewers only):


3 minutes gone and Karius does this 😮 #ICC2018 #LIVBVB https://t.co/ZyqnQ4pegp

Liverpool writer Oliver Bond and sports journalist Mootaz Chehade noted his struggles:

Oliver Bond @Oliver__Bond

Karius needs time out the side. Confidence is at rock bottom. This won’t be doing him any good - heads completely gone.

Mootaz Chehade @MHChehade

Can’t be surprised how that Champions League final has broken Karius as a player. He’s currently making mistakes silly mistakes under zero pressure. He really needs a loan move and get some confidence back.

There was little he could do about Pulisic's second goal, as the teenager picked out the bottom corner with a laser-guided strike, but he should have been able to deal with his shot on goal for the third.

It was a relatively tame effort, but the 'keeper failed to either catch it or palm it wide to safety, leaving Larsen with a simple finish from close range.

It's clear the spectre of the final still haunts Karius, and the Reds would have been in real trouble if he were set to be their No. 1 heading into the new season.


Robertson Primed to Build on Breakout Season after Strong Showing

A year and a day after Liverpool signed him from Hull City, Andy Robertson continues to impress in a Reds shirt.

The 24-year-old emerged in the latter half of last season as a strong option for Liverpool at left-back, and he showed on Sunday that he could be set for an excellent campaign ahead during his 45 minutes on the pitch.

He had little to do defensively as Dortmund failed to trouble their opponents in the first half, but frequently proved to be a threat on the left with several dangerous deliveries into the box, including the pinpoint cross for Van Dijk's header (U.S. viewers only):

International Champions Cup @IntChampionsCup

Here are the first-half highlights from Charlotte, as @LFC lead @BVB 1-0. #ICC2018 #ChampionsMeetHere Watch the game LIVE on @espn and @ESPNDeportes Brought to you by @Heineken_US https://t.co/i5N6NYO1uZ

Liverpool writer Jack Sear picked him out as one of the team's stronger performers:

Jack Sear @JackSear

Not quite sure how we didn’t win that but another good work out nonetheless. Van Dijk, Robertson, Jones, Keita, Sturridge all did well.

His main competition for minutes will be Alberto Moreno, but the Spaniard was less impressive when he came on for the second half, as he allowed Pulisic to cut inside past him far too easily for the third goal.


Pulisic Shows Why Liverpool Should Buy USA Star

Pulisic has long been linked with a move to Anfield, and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp expressed his admiration of the forward ahead of the match.

That will likely have increased even more after his second-half display. Brought off the bench at the start of the second half with his team 1-0 down, he played a key role in all three goals as BVB turned things around (U.S. viewers only):

International Champions Cup @IntChampionsCup

Here are the second-half highlights, as @BVB won 3-1 in the #ICC2018, brought to you by @Heineken_US #ChampionsMeetHere https://t.co/vwDvWfGOaG

He not only dispatched the penalty equaliser but also won the spot-kick too, brought down by Ragnar Klavan and James Milner after he burst into the box at pace and quickly changed direction.

Pulisic then finished off a fine counter-attack to give his side a late lead they had perhaps not deserved and turned Moreno inside out before firing at Karius for their third.

Football writer Joel Rabinowitz and Goal's Jon Arnold commented on his showing:

Joel Rabinowitz @joel_archie

Can see exactly why Klopp is such a big admirer of Pulisic.

Jon Arnold @ArnoldcommaJon

I say this as someone who saw Julian Green score a hat trick in an ICC game in Charlotte, North Carolina: It can be easy to overreact to ICC performances. Anyway, Pulisic for Ballon d'Or.

As Arnold reminded, the match was a pre-season friendly—we shouldn't get too carried away by what we saw—but Pulisic is entering his fourth campaign of involvement with Dortmund's senior side, and he showed once again what an impactful player he can be.

The sky is the limit for the youngster, and while the final third is already Liverpool's strongest area, they should not pass up any opportunity to sign him if one presents itself.