Dortmund eliminate Benfica from UEFA Champions League

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Dortmund (Germany), March 9 (IANS) Borussia Dortmund cruised past Benfica 4-0 in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League’s last 16 tie here.

Dortmund’ s top striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang played a major role in the victory on Wednesday night after providing a hattrick to edge Benfica 4-1 on aggregate from Europe’s elite club competition, reports Xinhua news agency.

Dortmund had a bright start on home soil as Aubameyang broke the deadlock just four minutes into the game after heading a corner to the far post to shock the visitors from Portugal.

Despite the setback, Benfica recovered and settled to gain a foothold into the match. However, the visitors lacked in penetration to overcome the Dortmund defence.

Dortmund ensured a perfect start to the second half as Christian Pulisic utilized a through ball from Lukasz Piszczek to chip the ball over onrushing Benfica goalkeeper Ederson, making it 2-0 with 59 minutes played.

The hosts gained momentum and extended the lead through Aubameyang, who made use of Marcel Schmelzer’s cross to mark his sixth goal in seven Champions League outings to flabbergast the visitors.

The Gabon international remained in the thick of things, as he wasn’t done with the scoring. Erik Durm played his way through on the right wing to square pass into the box where Aubemeyang tapped in his third goal of the night at the back post with five minutes remaining.

“We had chances and didn’t make the most of them. We faced a great team with fantastic attacking abilities,” Benfica defender Nelson Semedo said.

“You cannot expect that you will score four goals against a team like Benfica. We had the self-confidence to turn the tie around and the team demonstrated that tonight, especially in the second half,” Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel said.

–IANS

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