Borussia Dortmund’s game-winning goal came on a perfectly executed counterattack in a 3-2 preseason victory Sunday at Allegiant Stadium.
Tied with English Premier League club Manchester United late in the second half, Dortmund brought on some of its star players to try to grab the lead. The opportunity itself fell into the German club’s lap.
A turnover by Manchester United’s defense in its own half allowed German forward Marco Reus to collect the ball and drive at the goal. He moved the ball ahead to German midfielder Julian Brandt, who patiently waited for his teammates to catch up, then played Reus through on an overlapping run.
Reus fired the ball across the face of Manchester United’s goal, and 18-year-old forward Youssoufa Moukoko calmly tapped it into the goal despite having a defender draped all over him.
The goal capped Borussia Dortmund’s win in front of a crowd of 50,857.
Dutch winger Donyell Malen scored a two-minute brace in the first half, and United right back Diogo Dalot and right winger Antony scored for the Red Devils.
“It’s nice as always to play abroad or play at a neutral stadium,” Manchester United’s Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen said. “It’s different fans, away fans, home fans, but it was nice to see so many United shirts but also Dortmund fans. It was a good atmosphere.”
Manchester United opened play on the front foot. Manager Erik ten Hag omitted many of his stars from the starting 11, but the Red Devils had the first real chances. Ten Hag also continued to deploy English forward Jadon Sancho, traditionally a winger, in a false-nine role instead of a traditional striker.
The Red Devils’ strong start led to the first goal. Manchester United won a free kick on the left wing in the 24th minute, and while the ensuing delivery was blocked, Dutch midfielder Donny van de Beek recovered the ball and laid it off to Dalot.
The Portuguese defender lined up a shot from the top of the penalty box and fired it into the top-right corner to open the scoring.
“We played a strong game,” Eriksen said. “I think first half we dominated a lot of the game.”
Dortmund, particularly Malen, didn’t wait long to level things. In the 43rd minute, German forward Karim Adeyemi slipped behind his defender and found Austrian midfielder Marcel Sabitzer charging toward the goal from the midfield.
Sabitzer, who spent part of the past season on loan at Manchester United from Bayern Munich before moving to Dortmund less than a week ago, cut the ball back for Adeyemi, whose shot was blocked. But the ball didn’t clear the penalty box. Instead, it fell perfectly to Malen, whose side volley from close range leveled the game.
Malen struck again a minute later. A poor pass by Manchester United center back Victor Lindelof deep in his own half led to a turnover and an easy chance for Malen, who slotted home to give Dortmund the lead.
United tied the game early in the second half. A poor Dortmund clearance in the penalty box fell to Antony in the 52nd minute, and he rolled a shot with his favored left foot into the bottom left corner.
The focus for both teams was to simply continue their preparations for the season.
“We are working very hard,” said Facundo Pellistri, a Uruguayan winger for Manchester United. “We are building all the tactics for the season that is going to start immediately. We’ve done good work.”