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International Champions Cup

FINAL: Borussia Dortmund 2, Benfica 2, (Benfica wins on PKs)

Borussia Dortmund (ICC: 2-0-0, Bundesliga/Germany) vs Benfica (ICC: 0-0-0, Liga1/Portugal)

Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA – 8:05 p.m. kickoff

Twitter #ICC2018, @Pghsoccernow @SL_BenficaEN #EPluribusUnum @BVB #BVBUSA


10:10 p.m. – after five kicks – Benfica win the PK shoot out 4-3.

I’ll be getting post-game reaction and will provide a recap later into the night.

Thanks for following!

9:56 p.m. – teams play to 2-2 draw after 90 minutes — but it’s not over. We’re going on to PKs!

9:30 p.m. – 2-2 – Benfica with two second half goals — latest coming from Alfa Semedo in 69th minute.

9:05 p.m. – that’s it for Pulisic tonight as he’s subbed out with a handful of others from both teams as the second half starts.

8:34 p.m. – Benfica has been fun to watch when on the ball. Just not making that final pass count thus far.

8:28 p.m. – Don’t blink — @BVB strikes twice in a matter of minutes (20′, 22′)- and Maximillian Philipp knocks in both goals. Reminicent of Man City’s start here four years ago. Gotze had the assist on second. First goal was beautiful build-up that included passes from Bruun, Larsen and Götze.
Dortmund leads 2-0.

8:15 p.m. – Benfica with most of possession in first 15 minutes.

Zivkovic picks up yellow card after fouling Dortmund’s Schmeltzer near edge of box.


8:08 p.m.  

Kickoff finally comes after both teams come out — and take team pics.


7:20 p.m. 

Here are the line-up sheets.

Pulisic starting (of course) for Dortmund. WARNING: Expect up to 11 subs in the beginning of 2nd half!

Dortmund’s starting XI:

M. Hitz
Ö. Toprak
A. Diallo
J. Toljan
M. Schmelzer
C. Pulisic
M. Götze
M. Dahoud
J. Bruun Larsen
N. Sahin
M. Philipp

Benfica Starting XI

M. Svilar
Rúben Dias
André Almeida
A. Grimaldo
Gedson Fernandes
L. Fejsa
N. Castillo
A. Zivkovic

6:45 p.m.:

The teams are arriving now in pretty sweet decked out buses with team colors, logos, etc. Do those buses stay here in the U.S.?

5:45 p.m.: 

5:15 p.m. : 


3:35 p.m. – some additional items of note:

Since this is a tournament match, if the score is tied at the end of regulation, a kicks-from-the-penalty-mark tie breaker will commence approximately five minutes after regulation to determine the winner.

Warm ups will begin around 7:20 p.m. and end at 7:50 p.m.

Borussia Dortmund will be the home team and they’re wearing

2:45 p.m. – we’ve got a local connection in tonight’s match:

1:45 p.m. – Are you going to Heinz Field tonight? Here are some things to be aware:


• This match marks the return to Pennsylvania for America’s young budding star, Christian Pulisic. The Hershey native has made the most of his experience here in his home country thus far. Pulisic earned the penalty which Mario Götze converted in the 1-0 win over Man City on Friday, then had a second half brace against Liverpool to give the Yellow and Black a 3-1 win in Charlotte.

• Under a new coach, Lucien Favre, Dortmund have begun preseason clicking on all cylinders with wins over Austria Vienna before coming to the U.S., then beating a pair of prominent English clubs Manchester City and Liverpool have already come under the Swiss tactician who’s arrived from Nice, to the tune of five goals scored and just one conceded.

•  Marco Reus has joined up with the squad having been granted time to rest following the FIFA World Cup and could feature against Benfica. Abdou DialloAchraf Hakimi and Marius Wolf are among the new faces for Dortmund.

• Benfica are the record Portuguese champions with 36 titles to their name, though they had to settle for second in 2017-18, finishing seven points behind Porto. Brazil striker Jonas – scorer of 34 goals last year – is probably Benfica’s biggest name player who will be here in Pittsburgh.

On Monday, Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman, Alejandro Villanueva, who spent part of his childhood in his parents’ home country of Spain, had a chance to meet up with Benfica players and took part in a jersey exchange.

• Pulisic is not the only American player that will be at Heinz Field, as his fellow USMNT teammate Keaton Parks, another young player who’s risen through the ranks and developed in recent years in Europe, is battling to earn a regular spot in Benfica’s line-up after playing much of last season with its B team. Pittsburgh Sports Now’s Alan Suanders caught up with Parks on Tuesday. See what he had to say below.

Additional Pgh Soccer Now coverage from this week:

Borussia Dortmund, Benfica get started with Pittsburgh experience


#ICC2018 #Pittsburgh #Benfica #BVB #BVBUSA

“It’s really special to be in the U.S. with Dortmund. Obviously I have a lot of support back in the U.S., but so does Dortmund in general so it’s been amazing to see how many people are here, coming out to the games, at the hotel, supporting our team,” Pulisic said. “It’s been incredible.”

Pittsburgh Sports Now‘s Alan Saunders caught up with Parks on Tuesday morning at the UPMC Sports Performance South Side complex where Benfica were training.

This is an important preseason for Parks. After making his Primeira Liga debut in July, he made just six appearances with Benfica across all competitions during the 2017-18 season and 29 with Benfica B in the second-tier LigaPro. That’s a ratio he’d like to reverse for the upcoming season.

“Right now, I’m just enjoying my time with the first team, just putting in the work and hopefully, I’ll be training with them full time,” Parks said.

In order to reach his goal of playing at the top level in Europe, he’ll have to show he can stick against top-level competition. But there’s a good bit of irony in the fact that he’s had to come back to America, with the national team and in the Champions Cup to prove that he has earned that opportunity.

“It’s huge for me,” Parks said. “It’s my first preseason at this high level. It’s really exciting. I’m just enjoying it. … “It’s always special to play with Benfica and it’s nice to be home, as well.”

In Tuesday’s gathering with with the media, Dortmund’s new coach Lucien Favre and winger Jadon Sancho had a pretty cool moment.

Sancho was asked what were his impressions of the new coach, and here was his response…

Here’s what Favre had to say about Pulsic:

“We’ve seen a lot of progression from him, we’ve seen the Man City game, he scored the penalty kick and also in the Liverpool game he scored the third goal,” Favre said. “He has a lot of potential and he can still better himself and become a better player.”


Our own Mark Goodman, aka Riverhounds Rabbi, provides an excellent write-up breaking down this match-up, and what we should expect from each of these two storied European clubs when they face off in Pittsburgh.

Marco Reus at Heinz Field. Credit: BVB via twitter

PREVIEW: What to expect of Borussia Dortmund and Benfica



Boadu, Bochdorn, Bruun Larsen, Burnic, Dahoud, Diallo, Dieckmann, Gomez, Götze, Hakimi, Hitz, Hupe, Isak, Oelschlägel, Philipp, Pieper, Piszczek, Pulisic, Reus, Rode, Sahin, Sancho, Schmelzer, Sechelmann, Toljan, Toprak, Wolf, Zagadou
Absentees: Weigl (groin), Akanji, Bürki, Delaney, Guerreiro, Kagawa (on holiday), Schürrle (permission granted to discuss possible transfer)
Coach: Lucien Favre


Almeida, Amaral, Castillo, Cervi, Chiquinho, Chrien, Conti, Dias, Ebuehi, Elhouni, Eliseu, Duarte, Fejsa, Ferreyra, Grimaldo, Jardel, Jonas, Kalaica, Lema, Luisao, Milos, Parks, Pizzi, Ponck, Ribeiro, Salvio, Samaris, Seferovic, Semedo, Silva, Svilar, Varela, Vlachodimos, Willock, Zivkovic
Absentees: Krovinovic (cruciate ligament)
Coach: Rui Vitoria

Match stats

  • Pulisic has had a direct hand in all four of Dortmund’s goals at this year’s ICC, scoring twice and creating two more. He also made the winning goal in their friendly against Austria Vienna.
  • The 19-year-old American star already boasts a number of records, including being the youngest foreign-born goalscorer in Bundesliga history and the youngest player to have tallied for the USA in a World Cup qualifier.
  • Switzerland goalkeeper Marwin Hitz – signed this summer from Augsburg – is the only Dortmund squad member to have played in all 120 minutes of BVB’s ICC campaign so far.
  • Dortmund and Benfica have met four times in competitive competition. Die Schwarzgelben knocked the Portuguese giants out of the European Cup with a 6-2 aggregate win back in 1963, repeating the trick with a 4-1 aggregate triumph in the UEFA Champions League last 16 in 2017.
  • Benfica’s Haris Seferovic is a familiar face for Bundesliga fans. The Switzerland striker scored 16 times in three seasons with Eintracht Frankfurt, with two of those goals coming against Dortmund.
  • Jonas is Benfica’s primary goal threat, though. The Brazilian striker scored 34 of the club’s 80 league goals last season

Ed Thompson Photo Gallery

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John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

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