Champions League

Dortmund claim top spot ahead of Real Madrid

2016-12-08 00:45
Marco Reus (AFP)

Cape Town - Borussia Dortmund claimed top spot in Group F after netting a late equaliser in an entertaining 2-2 draw with Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

After a somewhat cagey opening ten-minute spell, the match sprang to life in the 10th minute when Karim Benzema forced Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller into action with a with a left-footed shot from the centre of the danger area.

Shortly thereafter, Real went on to create two chances in quick succession, but efforts from Casemiro and Lucas Vasquez failed to find the mark.

Los Blancos continued to pile on the pressure and again went close to breaking the deadlock on two separate occasions. James Rodriguez failed to find a way past Weidenfeller, though, who did well to deny the Colombia international first from close range and then from distance just two minutes later.

However, there was nothing the goalkeeper could do in the 28th minute as Benzema prodded home from close range following an inviting cross from Daniel Carvajal.

Despite trailing the hosts, it was Dortmund who ended the first half on the front foot, after creating a whole host of goalscoring opportunities.

Marc Bartra, Christian Pulisic, Andre Schurrle and Gonzalo Castro all went close to netting an equaliser as Real went into the half-time break with a slender advantage.

And Dortmund picked up where they left off after the break, with exciting youngster Ousmane Dembele firing wide of the mark on 49 minutes, just moments before Castro drew another save from Weidenfeller.

It was Real who found the next breakthrough, though, as they doubled their lead in the 53rd minute, Benzema heading into the bottom-right corner from the centre of the box following Rodriguez's pinpoint cross.

BVB didn't let their heads drop and they were rewarded for their attacking play on the hour mark as Aubameyang latched onto a pass from Marcel Schmelzer before firing into the bottom-left corner.

The goal sparked a reaction from Real, who redoubled their efforts in a bid to restore their two-goal lead. Cristiano Ronaldo saw his long-range effort saved in the top corner by Weidenfeller, though, before Benzema went close to notching his third of the game with another headed effort.

Dortmund briefly threatened to draw level through Marco Reus in the 73rd minute, while at the opposite end of the pitch, Ronaldo saw his powerful effort come back off the woodwork.

And just when it seemed that Real had done enough to see out the remainder of the tie, Dortmund silenced the home fans with two minutes remaining on the clock. Aubameyang launched a fast break and sent Reus through on goal, with the Germany international slotting home from the centre of the box to ensure his side claimed a share of the spoils and top spot in Group F.

Dortmund finish ahead of Real on goal difference, with Zinedine Zidane's men claiming the runners-up spot due to an inferior goal difference.

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