Dortmund face an early exit, cheer for Leipzig

RB Leipzig forward Jean-Kevin Augustin (bottom) celebrating his 41st-minute goal against Porto with Bruma. Leipzig won 3-2.
RB Leipzig forward Jean-Kevin Augustin (bottom) celebrating his 41st-minute goal against Porto with Bruma. Leipzig won 3-2.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

BERLIN • Borussia Dortmund coach Peter Bosz admits the Germans face an uphill Champions League battle after struggling to a 1-1 draw at Apoel Nicosia.

Bosz said they have their work cut out for them in their next two home games - against Apoel in a fortnight and Tottenham Hotspur on Nov 21 - before facing holders Real Madrid away.

"It's going to be difficult for us now and the result in Madrid (1-1 draw with Spurs) didn't help," said Bosz. "We need to try to win the home game against Nicosia and see how the last two games go."

Dortmund, the 2013 Champions League finalists, are third in Group H on one point, trailing both Real and Spurs by six points after having to come from behind to snatch a point against the Cypriot minnows on Tuesday.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos rescued a point for the Germans after an error by Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Burki led to Mickael Pote giving the hosts a shock second-half lead.

Bosz refused to point the finger at Burki for failing to hold the shot that led to Pote's goal.

"Roman has often helped the team this season. Things like this happen in football and the team won't blame him," said the Dutch manager.

Dortmund's hotshot striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was shut out, managing just two shots over the 90 minutes.

"We're all disappointed," said Dortmund captain Marcel Schmelzer.

"We didn't play well in the second half and it was all a bit wild, which shouldn't happen in the Champions League," he said.

"With a bit of luck, we'll win the next game and we have to show a reaction."

Domestically, Dortmund remain top of the Bundesliga table despite losing 2-3 at home last weekend to RB Leipzig, who beat Porto 3-2 in their Champions League game on Tuesday.

Jean-Kevin Augustin scored what proved to be the winner as Leipzig secured their first victory in Europe's elite club competition.

The result puts Leipzig second in Group G, a point above Porto, but five points behind Turkish champions Besiktas, who maintained their perfect record with a 2-1 win at last season's semi-finalists and French champions Monaco (one point).

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 19, 2017, with the headline 'Dortmund face an early exit, cheer for Leipzig'. Print Edition | Subscribe