Dortmund (Germany), April 8 (IANS) Mats Hummel’s second-half goal cancelled out Divock Origi’s opener for Liverpool to secure a 1-1 draw at the first leg in Europa League football quarter-final.
Juergen Klopp’s men wrapped up a draw and a crucial away-goal here on Thursday, giving Borussia Dortmund a stiff task for the second leg at Anfield Road next week, reports Xinhua news agency.
It was Klopp who reanimated Dortmund when the club was in a critical condition in 2008 before winning the German league championship twice and the German cup once. It was his first return to the club after leaving last season.
Liverpool’s Origi broke the deadlock out of the blue before Dortmund restored parity early in the second half thanks to Hummel’s header.
The hosts seized control from the kick-off to find gaps in Liverpool’s defence as Marco Reus and Henrikh Mkhitaryan came close to break the deadlock in the opening period.
Liverpool approached the host’s goal for the first time with 20 minutes played as Dejan Lovren tested Dortmund custodian Roman Weidenfeller with a header from inside the box.
However, Dortmund controlled the proceedings on the pitch but they lacked in accuracy on the finish as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan pulled wide from promising positions.
As a consequence, Liverpool were able to open the scoring in the 36th minute. James Milner headed into the path of Origi, who shrugged off Hummels to beat Weidenfeller into the far post corner.
Origi should have doubled the lead moments later but the striker was unable to overcome Weidenfeller for a second time in the dying seconds of the first half.
After the restart, Dortmund increased their pressure to level the scores with just three minutes into the second half. Mkhitaryan’s pinpoint cross, following a corner, allowed Hummels to nod past Liverpool goalie Simon Mignolet.
Liverpool remained dangerous as Coutinho and Nathaniel Clyne tested Weidenfeller with three shots on target in the 52nd minute. As the match progressed both teams reduced the risk to take the 1-1 draw into the second leg.
“The result is okay but we can to better than this. We had to wait until the second half to gain a foothold into the game. We played too nervous today,” Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel said after the match.
“It could have been worse. It was a good game on the whole. We staged a good performance around the 1-0,” Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp said.