Erling Haaland on Tuesday scored twice to continue his prolific UEFA Champions League scoring form as Borussia Dortmund swept aside Club Brugge KV 3-0 to all but assure the German team of a place in the knockout stage.
Haaland scored his goals either side of a curled free-kick from Jadon Sancho, who also set up Haaland’s opener.
The 20-year-old Norwegian’s two goals took him to 16 from 12 games in his brief Champions League career.
Dortmund took the lead in the 18th minute when Sancho picked up a loose ball in the midfield and played a through-ball to Haaland, who hit a powerful low shot past former Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet for the 200th Champions League goal in Dortmund’s history.
Sancho has had an indifferent start to the Bundesliga season and was dropped for Dortmund’s previous game, but the England winger showed his value to the club by setting up Haaland’s opener against Brugge and then making it 2-0 with the last kick of the first half, curling a free-kick over the Brugge wall and into the top-left corner.
“It’s a fantastic goal. I’ve been practicing my free-kicks recently, so I’m happy that it came off today,” Sancho told broadcaster DAZN. “I’m just happy that I’m playing, and I have coaches and teammates that believe in me. Recently it’s been a hard situation for me. Recent times have been hard, but it’s all about how I come back.”
Haaland’s second was a gift from Brugge. He was in a clear offside position when captain Ruud Vormer fumbled an attempted clearance and sent it straight to Haaland to finish with ease.
Belgian clubs are easy pickings for Haaland. The Norwegian became the youngest player to score a Champions League hat-trick, with three goals for RB Salzburg against KRC Genk last year in a game that made him one of the most sought-after young players in the world.
In four games against Belgian teams, Haaland has scored eight goals.
Dortmund are to be assured of a place in the last 16 with just a single point from their final two group games against SS Lazio and Zenit St Petersburg.
Lazio beat Zenit 3-1 in Tuesday’s other Group F match.
Brugge still have a faint chance of qualifying, but are also battling Zenit for third place and a spot in the UEFA Europa League.
Dortmund kept 16-year-old forward Youssoufa Moukoko on the bench — he would have become the youngest player in Champions League history if he had played — as coach Lucien Favre opted against bringing him on.
Moukoko, who broke the Bundesliga record for youngest player on Saturday last week, could yet break the Champions League record later.
He was 16 years and 4 days old for the game against Brugge, 83 days younger than Celestine Babayaro was when he made his debut for RSC Anderlecht in 1994.
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