At that moment, Saturday afternoon looked like it would be a very nice one for FC Augsburg and its supporters. Florian Niederlechner had made it 3-1 after 55 minutes, and against Borussia Dortmund it felt like a win. The team cheered freely, the fans called the last name of their goal scorer through the stadium. But the euphoria did not last long.
The player on whom all the attention had been focused that day was trotting along the sideline at a quick pace. For the second time “Never-the-lech-ner!” sounded, it was so far: Dortmund’s 20 million euro winter access Erling Haaland took the stage, coming on for Lukasz Piszczek in the 56th minute. And it quickly became clear to the Augsburgers that it shouldn’t be such an enjoyable afternoon for them – and an even better one for Borussia Dortmund.
183 seconds. Haaland took so little time to live up to his reputation as one of the greatest storming talents in European football. Jadon Sancho passed the ball to him, Haaland did not hesitate long and shot in the 59th minute from ten meters from the left to the right corner. 2: 3, connection established, turn initiated, seemingly effortless.
Augsburg coach Martin Schmidt speaks of “Haaland shock”
There had been a lot of talk about BVB’s 19-year-old approach, and high expectations were dampened. “He needs a little more time, that’s for sure,” said Dortmund coach Lucien Favre. It does not seem to be a basic need for Haaland to get used to it. “I wanted to come in with positive energy and turn the game around,” said the Norwegian after the game.
The center forward came as a promise, as a missing piece of the puzzle in Dortmund’s squad. In the past calendar year, Haaland had scored 28 goals in 22 competitive matches for RB Salzburg, eight of them in the last six months in the Champions League. Right at his debut on Saturday, he showed that Dortmund could achieve a similarly good quota – and should not only make a decisive difference in the team structure of BVB with goals. With his substitution, the Dortmund team looked like a substitute.
The Augsburgers had started boldly in front of 30,660 spectators, apparently surprising Dortmund. Dortmund looked at least tense against the tenth and had problems getting through. They did not take advantage of the opportunities that Dortmund offered. “We had several clear goalscoring chances and should take the lead, instead we get a goal, which was half a gift from us as we drop the ball there,” said Favre.