Dortmund, Germany | AFP | The setting may be unfamiliar with the German Bundesliga returning behind closed doors after a two-month coronavirus shutdown, but the identity of the day’s first goal-scorer was entirely familiar as Erling Braut Haaland put Borussia Dortmund ahead against Schalke on Saturday.
Haaland diverted a low Thorgan Hazard cross into the far corner of the net in the 29th minute for the first goal of the five matches kicking off on Saturday afternoon on the long-awaited comeback of top-flight football in Europe.
It was a 10th goal in nine Bundesliga appearances for the prolific 19-year-old Norwegian striker, who moved to Dortmund from Red Bull Salzburg in the winter.
Usually the scorer of the first goal in the Ruhr derby — one of the biggest fixtures in German football — could expect to be mobbed by his teammates.
On this occasion, though, Haaland’s colleagues respected social distancing recommendations and avoided getting too close as they applauded the smiling and dancing goal-scorer.
Haaland also had a hand in the second goal, forcing Schalke goalkeeper Markus Schubert into a poor clearance which led to Raphael Guerreiro making it 2-0 just before half-time.
A Dortmund win would leave them a point behind leaders Bayern Munich, who play on Sunday.