Christian Pulisic had an enjoyable season opener for Borussia Dortmund. (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
DORTMUND, Germany — The final score read:
Borussia Dortmund 4, RB Leipzig 1.
To many U.S. and Red Bulls supporters, the scoreboard also could have read:
Christian Pulisic’s team 4, Jesse Marsch’s squad 1 in the matchup between the U.S. international and the former Red Bulls head coach.
In season opener for both teams Sunday, Borussia prevailed behind a 3-1 home victory in the Bundesliga.
Pulisic plays midfield for the German powerhouse, Marsch, who joined the team in June, is an assistant coach.
Not surprisingly, the Hershey, Pa. native played a role in Dortmund’s win. He was fouled in the 40th minute, which set up a free-kick goal and his corner kick led to the go-ahead score in the 43rd minute. And, Pulisic also was fouled harshly enough for a Leipzig player to be slapped with a yellow card in the opening half.
After the visitors stunned Borussia with a Jean-Kévin Augustin goal some 30 seconds into the match, the home side equalized before taking control of the first half.
Borussia made sure of that starting in the 40th minute after Pulisic was fouled on the left side. On the ensuing free kick, the 19-year-old midfielder ran over the ball as Marco Reus rifled the ball toward the near side of the goal. A Leipzig defender, however, trying to defend the goal, headed the ball and changed direction as it wound up into the back of the net for a 2-1 edge for the hosts.
It didn’t take long for Dortmund to celebrate a goal. This time Pulisic sent a corner kick in from the right side that Thomas Delaney headed toward the net. The rebound when to Alex Witsel, whose bicycle kick in close quarters solved the defense as the hosts enjoyed a 3-1 advantage going into halftime.
Pulisic was replaced by Jadon Sancho in the 77th minute.
Reus scored his 100th Bundesliga goal off a counterattack in the first minute of second-half stoppage time from the left side of the box off a pass from Sancho.
Dortmund visits Hannover 96 for its first away match Friday, Aug. 31.