Hakimi scores 2 in Dortmund’s comeback win over Inter
DORTMUND, Germany (AP) — Achraf Hakimi scored twice as Borussia Dortmund came back from two goals down to beat Inter Milan 3-2 in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Dortmund went into the break 2-0 down after its defense failed to cope with Inter’s movement in attack, but charged back into the game in the second half to take second place in Group F.
“Inter was very clinical in the first half. They scored twice from two chances, we did not,” Dortmund captain Mats Hummels said.
“We left them little room to breathe after the break and played a really strong second half.”
Hakimi kick-started Dortmund’s comeback in the 51st minute, darting in from wide to a center-forward position to knock in a cross by Mario Götze.
Dortmund pulled level when Paco Alcácer came off the bench and used his first touch to intercept a throw-in and set up Julian Brandt to score.
More pace from Hakimi bagged the third. The full-back on loan from Real Madrid received a smart through-ball from Jadon Sancho and finished calmly for his fourth Champions League goal in as many games.
Inter substitute Stefano Sensi nearly leveled in the 90th but shot at goalkeeper Roman Bürki.
The win gave Dortmund a measure of revenge for its 2-0 defeat in Milan in the reverse fixture last month. That remains Dortmund’s only loss since August across 12 matches in all competitions.
Hakimi turned 21 the day before the game. “It’s a really nice birthday present — the two goals and the win for the whole team,” he said.
Goals from Lautaro Martínez and Matías Vecino had given Inter the lead in a first half which showcased the Italian team’s creativity and versatility. Dortmund looked just as flat in the first half as Inter did for much of the second.
Martínez opened the scoring in the fifth minute with a burst of individual brilliance, picking up the ball on the right flank and cutting inside past three Dortmund defenders before scoring with a powerful finish.
Inter dominated the first half and could have scored again when Romelu Lukaku hit the post on an otherwise quiet night for the Belgian, who was substituted midway through the second half.
Where Martínez’s goal was a solo affair, Vecino’s was all about the team. Inter won the ball near its own box and played a rapid, incisive move up the pitch, culminating in Antonio Candreva passing square for Vecino to score.
After the final whistle, Martínez lay flat as defeat hit Inter hard.
Group F leader Barcelona drew 0-0 at home to Slavia Prague in the early game and has eight points, one more than Dortmund. Inter has four and will likely struggle to qualify if it doesn’t win at Slavia in its next game.