Haaland brace takes Dortmund to Champions League quarters

Erling Haaland struck twice to ensure a 2-2 draw for Borussia Dortmund in the second leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie against Sevilla. Dortmund have thus won the two-legged tie 5-4 and booked a place for themselves in the quarter-finals.

Sevilla knew that only a victory could turn things around and that is how they started the match on Tuesday, Xinhua news reports. Sevilla came out flying and dominated Dortmund in the opening stages as Lucas Ocampos unleashed a dangerous long-range effort with only three minutes played before Suso’s shot from the edge of the area went just wide in the 18th minute.

Dortmund defended deep whereas Sevilla pushed forward relentlessly. Although the Spanish side dominated possession and was the more active team, it was Dortmund who broke the deadlock against the run of the play as Marco Reus’s square pass into the box allowed Haaland to tap home the opener with 35 minutes played.

The visitors were visibly shocked by Dortmund’s goal whereas the hosts clinically took the narrow lead into halftime.

After the restart, things went from bad to worse for Sevilla as Dortmund doubled their advantage with Haaland converting a penalty into the bottom right corner in the 51st minute.

Sevilla needed three goals to force extra time. Julen Lopetegui’s men got the chance to halve the deficit in the 69th minute after Emre Can fouled Luuk de Jong inside the box. Youssef En-Nesyri stepped up and drilled the ball into the center of the goal to make it 2-1.

The visitors grew in confidence while Dortmund remained dangerous on the counterattack. Sevilla were rewarded for their will to score another goal as Youssef En-Nesyri nodded home a corner from Ivan Rakitic to restore parity in added time.

The Spaniards pressed frantically for the winner, but Dortmund protected the draw and their ticket to the next round until the final whistle.

“It was a tough game. We knew that they were going to come at us very hard, but when we scored, they needed three goals,” said Dortmund striker Erling Haaland.

“We are not happy with the result. We played very well. The truth is, we didn’t have any luck today,” said Sevilla striker En-Nesyri. –IANS