Christian Pulisic picked one hell of a time to score his first-ever Champions League goal. Given a starting spot in place of the injured Marco Reus, the 18-year-old American seized the opportunity for Borussia Dortmund with gusto.
The German side entered the second leg of their round of 16 tie against Benfica down 1-0 on aggregate. After Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored in the fourth minute of the match, Dortmund needed one more (and keeping Benfica off the board) to ensure passage to the quarterfinals.
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That goal wound up being the one that pushed Dortmund to the next stage. An additional goal just moments later from Aubameyang also gave Dortmund a nice cushion in the tie, and eventually Dortmund won, 4-0, to advance, 4-1, on aggregate.
Pulisic’s impact on the match was evident right from the start. The American winger showed pace and wasn’t awestruck by the lights of the Champions League. Aubameyang’s first actually came off of a flicked-on header from Pulisic on a corner kick.
Then, Pulisic came through with a deft chip to put Dortmund ahead in both the match and on aggregate. Again, what a way to pick up your first Champions League goal.