Following Giovanni Reyna’s standout performance in Borussia Dortmund’s convincing win over FC Copenhagen to open their Champions League campaign, BVB head coach Edin Terzic was quick to praise the American in post-game comments.
As Tuesday’s game kicked off in Dortmund’s Signa-Iduna-Park, Reyna was positioned on the team’s bench, with the expectation that he would likely make a short cameo late in the second half as he still works his way back from long-term injury problems.
Reyna had made a pair of Bundesliga appearances for Dortmund this season, most recently a seven-minute run-out in their narrow loss to Hoffenheim over the weekend.
However, the early injury to starting midfield Thorgan Hazard upended any prior plans, prompting Terizic to insert the 19 year-old into the midfield in the 23rd minute with the game still scoreless.
By the time the 90 minutes were finished, Dortmund had easily overcome their visitors by a 3-0 margin but more importantly, the American star had notched a pair of assists in his most influential game in recent memory.
In the post-game press conference, Terzic did express concern at the potential loss of Hazard in the coming weeks, however heaped praise upon Reyna for his unexpected master-class at filling in for the Belgian international.
“The positive thing about the [situation] is that Gio Reyna could be substituted [into the game] today,” Terzic explained in his post-game comments.
It’s clear that Reyna’s participation in Tuesday’s game was originally planned by Terzic and his staff, however such an early entry, after only a pair of competitive games since his last injury in April, was a shot of faith in their young star.
“He had a super performance,” Terzic beamed, adding “and [he] played much more than we planned.”
“But he has given a great performance, and we are very happy that Gio is back.”
With Dortmund’s squad facing some uncertainty due to a mounting injury crisis, it is certain that Reyna will play some role on Saturday when they head east to visit Leipzig, however whether he is already inserted into a starting role won’t be know until shortly before kickoff.