Dortmund’s Champions League hopes dented in Nicosia draw

October 17, 2017
APOEL Nicosia's Mickael Pote controls a ball as Dortmund's Marc Bartra, left, looks on during the Champions League Group H soccer match between APOEL Nicosia and Borussia Dortmund at GSP stadium, in Nicosia, Cyprus, on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Borussia Dortmund’s hopes of making the second round of the Champions League took a major blow when it was held at APOEL Nicosi to 1-1 on Tuesday.

After losing its opening games in Group H to Tottenham and Real Madrid, Dortmund needed a win to kick-start its campaign in Europe’s premier club competition. It didn’t.

“In the end we have to be happy we didn’t lose the game. It will be difficult now,” Dortmund coach Peter Bosz said of his side’s hopes of progression.

Dortmund, which reached the final in 2013, started well against a side that hadn’t scored in its previous six games, but then stagnated as APOEL organized.

Despite suffering a double blow in the first half when striker Igor De Camargo and goalkeeper Boy Waterman both went off with injuries, APOEL managed to restrict the visitors’ space and opportunities.

Dortmund’s lackluster performance continued after the break and the noisy stadium erupted in joy when Mickael Pote ended APOEL’s barren run in front of goal - thanks to a mistake from goalkeeper Roman Buerki.

Buerki’s attempted pass out went straight to Lorenzo Ebecilio, who eluded Marcel Schmelzer and fired a shot that Buerki failed to gather. Pote was first to react to score from the rebound.

Greek defender Sokratis equalized five minutes later with a header to Mario Goetze’s cross.

Shinji Kagawa struck the crossbar two minutes later after reserve goalkeeper Gudino got a touch to his shot, and Dortmund knew it was out of luck when Gudino and the post denied Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in injury time.

With Madrid and Tottenham on seven points after their 1-1 draw in Madrid, Dortmund, with one point, faces a tall order to emerge from the group.

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