Borussia Dortmund moved on to the DFB Pokal quarterfinals with a win over Hertha Berlin on penalties, and it was a good performance all around for Americans.
Christian Pulisic missed his spot-kick in the penalty shootout, but otherwise was one of the best players on the pitch after coming on at halftime. The 18-year-old replaced Lukasz Piszczek out of the break, and proceeded to assist Marco Reus’s equalizing goal just two minutes out of halftime – Dortmund’s only goal of the game with the full-time score ending at 1-1.
Pulisic continued to impress throughout the second half, providing movement on the edge and cutting inside. It was a good performance for Pulisic in the sense that he provided meaningful minutes even with Ousmane Dembele on the field at the same time. Dembele has been the one in front of Pulisic on the depth chart at Dortmund.
John Brooks also played incredibly well defensively for Hertha Berlin in the loss, holding off Dortmund for much of the game despite the hosts’ 69% possession.
Brooks has been massive all year for his German club. The 24-year-old defender played in all three of Hertha’s DFB Pokal matches this season, with the club conceding just two total goals. He’s also made 12 Bundesliga appearances this season, leading the club to one of the better defensive records in the league, conceding 12 goals in those games he’s appeared in. Consequently, Hertha has conceded nine goals in the seven league games without Brooks.