Christian Pulisic scored twice to rally Borussia Dortmund to a 3-1 win over Liverpool on Sunday, handing Jurgen Klopp’s side a first defeat of the preseason.
In their first of three International Champions Cup fixtures, Liverpool took the lead in the 25th minute through Virgil van Dijk before Pulisic’s second-half double earned Dortmund their second win in the United States this summer. Pulisic efforts then set up Jacob Bruun Larsen to score Dortmund’s final goal late on.
Liverpool star Mohamed Salah sat out of the defeat, having only returned from holiday on Friday, but observed from the sideline at Bank of America Stadium alongside Sadio Mane.
There was an early scare for Liverpool when Loris Karius rushed off his line to clear the ball, only for it to go straight towards Maximilian Philipp, who fired wide from long range.
Joel Matip, who has just returned from a thigh issue that ended his 2017-18 season, was then forced off in the 17th minute with an injury. The defender overhit a pass and then immediately signalled towards the Liverpool bench, pointing towards his upper leg.
It was Liverpool’s other starting centre-back who broke the deadlock. Andrew Robertson’s cross from a short corner was met with a towering header from Van Dijk that left Marwin Hitz in the Dortmund goal with no chance.
Half-time saw both teams make wholesale changes, with Naby Keita, Daniel Sturridge, Mario Gotze and Pulisic among the stars introduced.
Liverpool came close to doubling their lead but Sheyi Ojo was denied by the crossbar.
Seconds later Dortmund went up the other end and were awarded a penalty when Pulisic was adjudged to have brought down by James Milner. The American dusted himself off to slot home the spot-kick in the 66th minute.
The match appeared to be heading towards a penalty shootout until Pulisic rounded off a counter-attack with a cool finish.
The 19-year-old was heavily involved in Dortmund’s third goal deep into injury time as his shot was parried by Karius into the path of Larsen.
Liverpool will aim to bounce back when they play Manchester City in New Jersey on Wednesday night, while Dortmund face Benfica in Pittsburgh, in Pulisic’s home state of Pennsylvania.