SINGAPORE – While his Dutch teammates are at the World Cup in Qatar, forward Donyell Malen bagged a brace to help Borussia Dortmund cruise to a 7-2 friendly win over Singapore Premier League (SPL) club Lion City Sailors at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Thursday.
The 23-year-old, who missed Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal’s 26-man squad, played a starring role as the German club showed their class over the 2021 SPL champions.
“I mean to not go to the World Cup is disappointing, but I’m happy to be here,” Malen said after the match. “I mean, you play some good games and you can just enjoy football, but the most important thing for me is just to enjoy my football whatever it is on the World Cup stage.”
The 6,000-capacity venue, packed with fans in blue and yellow T-shirts, roared to life for about two hours as both sides served up a nine-goal feast.
Dortmund also scored through substitutes Samuel Bamba (two), Julian Rijkhoff, Justin Njinmah and an own goal, while Gabriel Quak and Faris Ramli replied for the Sailors.
Although fan favourites Marco Reus and Mats Hummels, who was spotted signing autographs before kick-off, did not make the match-day squad, Dortmund dominated from the opening whistle with the likes of Malen, Emre Can and Nico Schulz.
Sailors goalkeeper Adib Nur Hakim, who was making his debut start, was called into action to deny efforts from Ole Pohlmann and Felix Passlack.
The Sailors initially held their own with their 3-5-2 formation, but crumbled after the half-hour mark with two goals in quick succession.
Sailors defender Amirul Adli first diverted a cross into his own net, before Malen doubled Dortmund’s advantage with a deft toe-poke.
Just before the interval, Malen bagged his second via a cut-back from former Manchester City academy graduate Jayden Braaf.
Substitute Bamba added a fourth for Dortmund with a far-post header in the 66th minute, but the crowd erupted when Quak reduced the deficit for the Sailors minutes later.
The 32-year-old forward, who has been omitted from Singapore’s provisional squad for the Asean Football Federation Championship, fired a fierce left-footed strike which was too powerful for Dortmund custodian Alexander Meyer to keep out.
Bamba then completed his brace before turning provider for the 17-year-old Rijkhoff to notch Dortmund’s sixth goal of the night.
Substitute Njinmah made it seven, before Sailors winger Ramli curled in a spectacular effort in stoppage time, much to the delight of the home fans.
Dortmund coach Edin Terzic, who paid tribute to the Sailors’ mentality, said: “I think it was quite intense game... It was good that many of our young lads had the opportunity to get some game time and so we are really happy with no injuries that is the most important for us at the minute.“
While Sailors interim coach Luka Lalic rued their mistakes, he was pleased that both their goals were created by their academy players – both 17-year-olds – whom he introduced as substitutes.
Quak’s goal came from an assist by Yasir Nizamudin, while Danie Hafiy set up Faris’ strike.
“I think the highlight for me was that the two goals that we scored both were assisted by academy players, so that was very interesting to see,” said Lalic.
“And obviously last 10 minutes those three goals we conceded, you know, it’s really the price we pay for the youth.”
Dortmund, who are in Singapore as part of their Asia Tour, will visit Malaysia and Vietnam next.