BSS : 27 OCTOBER, 2022, 1:33 AM
Borussia Dortmund coach Edin Terzic praised defender Mats Hummels for keeping former teammate Erling Haaland quiet after the German side drew 0-0 with Manchester City on Tuesday to qualify for the Champions League last 16.
Dortmund booked their place in the knockout phase with a battling point, although needed a second-half penalty save by Gregor Kobel from Riyad Mahrez.
“Mats Hummels was outstanding,” said Terzic, after the centre-back intervened several times to keep Haaland under control.
Haaland was substituted at half-time with what coach Pep Guardiola said was a “knock”.
Kobel’s penalty stop was the only moment of note in the second half, as Dortmund qualified and City won Group G.
“We defended consistently and cleanly until the end,” added Terzic.
“We allowed very few scoring chances, luckily Gregor Kobel was on duty to stop the penalty.
“It was a very united team performance. That goes for all five games in the Champions League, so we deserve to be in the knockout stages.”
Despite his heroics, Kobel was unaware Dortmund had made it into the last 16 for the seventh time in nine years, asking TV reporters: “Is it certain we are through?”
Premier League champions City sit three points clear of Dortmund in Group G and are confirmed as group winners due to their superior head-to-head record.
With City already qualified for the last 16, Guardiola rotated his starting line-up, with Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Jack Grealish and goalkeeper Ederson among the substitutes, giving former Arminia Bielefeld ‘keeper Stefan Ortega his debut.
Guardiola said that Haaland, playing in front of Dortmund’s yellow wall for the first time since making the move to City in the summer, had picked up a knock in the latter stages of the first half and needed to be taken off.
“Erling took a knock, but was running normally again (after the game). We’ll see how that turns out,” Guardiola told AFP subsidiary SID.
– Dortmund miss early chances –
Sevilla’s 3-0 defeat of FC Copenhagen earlier on Tuesday left Dortmund only needing a draw to qualify.
The teenage duo of Karim Adeyemi and Youssoufa Moukoko had several first-half chances to give Dortmund the lead, but it was City who had the best opportunity of the match.
Former Liverpool midfielder Emre Can, standing in for the suspended Salih Ozcan, struggled with City’s pace on the counter and gave away a clear spot-kick in the 56th minute for bringing down Mahrez.
The Algerian struck the penalty solidly but Swiss ‘keeper Kobel got both palms on the ball to keep City scoreless.
In the closing stages, both sides appeared content to share the honours, eliminating Sevilla and Copenhagen.
Dortmund’s English midfielder Jude Bellingham said his side’s performance against “one of the best teams in the world” showed the home team could go far in the tournament.
“We’re not taking this for granted. We want to get as far as we can,” Bellingham, 19, said.
In the final Group G games next week, Dortmund travel to Copenhagen while Man City host Sevilla.
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