By DAN KARELL
After 170 minutes of quality soccer, Borussia Dortmund nearly gave it all away in the final ten minutes of the tie.
Two goals, and many skipped heartbeats later, the German side had gained entry to the UEFA Champions League final with a 4-3 aggregate victory over Real Madrid.
Playing in front of a rocking Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, Borussia kept their cool for most of the match, despite losing midfielder Mario Götze to injury in the 14th minute. Last game’s hero Robert Lewandowski was held scoreless, but he nearly scored in the 50th minute, his shot cannoning off the cross bar. Roman Weidenfeller had a huge day in net for the visitors, but there wasn’t much he could do in the final ten minutes of regulation as Real ramped up the pressure.
Real forward Karim Benzema finally got the hosts on the board in the 83rd minute when he finished from close range off a cross on the right wing from German international Mesut Ozil.
Just minutes later, Weidenfeller made a strong save on a Sergio Ramos header in the box, but the Spanish international wouldn’t be denied in the 88th minute, finishing with his left foot into the roof of the net from just outside of the six-yard box. With that goal, Real Madrid needed just one more to ensure a place in the final.
Preparing themselves for a frenetic final few minutes, Borussia manager Jurgen Klopp brought in defender Felipe Santana off the bench protection in front of goal, a tactic that paid dividends as the Dortmund faithful heard the final whistle while still up on aggregate, though losing 2-0 on the night.
What did you make of Tuesday’s Champions League match? Did you think Real would come back? Impressed by Borussia’s achievement?
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