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Dortmund eliminate Zenit Saint Petersburg from UEFA Champions League

English.news.cn   2014-03-20 08:05:54

BERLIN, March 19 (Xinhua) -- Dortmund advanced into the quarterfinals despite a 2-1 loss to Zenit Saint Petersburg at outsold Signal Iduna Park in UEFA Champions League's last 16 encounter on Wednesday.

Juergen Klopp's men wrapped up the Champions League quarterfinals for the second straight time after 16 years. Zenit carved out a 2-1 win on the road but Dortmund already smoothed the way in the first leg as they secured a 4-2 away victory to progress 5-4 on aggregate.

Dortmund created the first chance against active visitors from Russia as Pierre Emerick Aubameyang squandered a goal scoring opportunity from five meters following a cross by Marcel Schmelzer.

However, it was the visitors who dictated the game against passive hosts. Consequently Zenit punished Dortmund by courtesy of Hulk, whose unstoppable left footer from 25 meters overcame Roman Weidenfeller into the top left corner at the 16th minute. It was the fourth goal for Hulk this Champions League season.

The early opener played into Zenit's hands although they still had plenty work to turn around. Dortmund were under pressure but managed, somewhat out of the blue, to restore parity as Sebastian Kehl's header found the back of the net after a pin-point cross by Schmelzer into the box at the 37th minute. The equalizer was Kehl's first ever goal in Champions League after 30 appearances.

Dortmund's equalizer meant that Zenit would need another three goals to progress into the next round. Thus both sides staged a distracted second half since Dortmund tried to gain control of the game meanwhile Zenit failed to create threatening opportunities. But, despite Dortmund's equalizer Zenit kept it bowling as joker Jose Rodon headed home a cross by Domenico Crisito to reward his side with the 2-1 lead at the 73rd minute.

Nonetheless, Dortmund ran the clock down to progress with a 5-4 victory on aggregate, eliminating Zenit from Champions League.

"We are glad to have reached the quarterfinals. Still, It wasn't a brilliant performance. We failed to gain a foothold into the match and we made too many mistakes today," BVB director of sports Michael Zorc said.

Editor: Yang Lina
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