Virgil van Dijk left Borussia Dortmund to rue leaving him unmarked in the box as he headed Liverpool into the lead in their opening International Champions Cup fixture.
The Dutchman leapt highest to meet Andrew Robertson’s expert delivery with a towering header past goalkeeper Marwin Hitz.
It marked a much needed breakthrough after a somewhat lacklustre and laboured start to the game from both sides inside the Bank of America Stadium.
Van Dijk had been one of Liverpool’s brightest performers up until his goal, asserting his supremacy at the back to pick up where he left off last season.
His goal served as a welcomed reminder of the attacking threat he offers in crossing and set-piece scenarios alongside his defensive authority at the other end of the pitch.
What a cross from Robertson, what a leap and a bullet header from Van Dijk! pic.twitter.com/SmEfyubgPs
— Sam (@VintageSalah) July 22, 2018
Van Dijk played beside two centre-back partners in the first half, with Joel Matip hobbling off with a thigh injury and being replaced by Joe Gomez.
Another injury threatens as a cruel blow to Matip having only recently returned from a lengthy injury layoff that saw him miss the defining stages of last season.
Though a young Dortmund side have looked bright in stages, Van Dijk’s goal has proven a turning point in handing Liverpool the upper-hand.