The official website for European football

Dortmund leave it late to defeat Ajax

Published: Tuesday 18 September 2012, 22.45CET
Borussia Dortmund 1-0 AFC Ajax
Robert Lewandowski hit a smart late winner for the German champions to make amends for Mats Hummels's penalty miss in Group D.
by Andy James
from BVB Stadion Dortmund

rate galleryrate photo
  • loading...
Published: Tuesday 18 September 2012, 22.45CET

Dortmund leave it late to defeat Ajax

Borussia Dortmund 1-0 AFC Ajax
Robert Lewandowski hit a smart late winner for the German champions to make amends for Mats Hummels's penalty miss in Group D.

Robert Lewandowski spared Borussia Dortmund's frustrations with a late winner in their UEFA Champions League Group D opener against AFC Ajax.

The German champions looked like they would be left to rue Mats Hummels's second-half penalty miss and a string of wasted opportunities as the Dutch title holders held firm throughout, almost pinching a lead themselves in the opening period. However, Jürgen Klopp's young side persevered and eventually earned their reward as Lewandowski secured what could turn out to be a vital three points in a very tough group.

Propelled by the yellow wall of sound behind them, Dortmund began with typical energy and Mario Götze almost slipped Poland striker Lewandowski through within the opening minutes.

Ajax quickly reminded the hosts of their own attacking principles, however, and might have gone in front when İlkay Gündoğan gave the ball away in his own half. Only the swift reactions of home goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller spared the Germany midfielder's blushes with a top save to deny Christian Eriksen who was one-on-one.

Weidenfeller again had to be alert to foil the onrushing Derk Boerrigter, but Dortmund, unbeaten in 31 Bundesliga matches, are not a team easily shaken. Die Schwarzgelben had threatened when Marco Reus fed the overlapping Marcel Schmelzer in the box. Ajax goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer made a fine stop, yet as the tempo remained high towards the interval, it was Dortmund who looked the more positive.

Dortmund started the second half much as they had the first, only this time chances were forthcoming. Lewandowski blazed over having seemingly done the hard work by losing two markers, while Reus saw his finish diverted around the post by Vermeer after being sent into the clear by Mario Götze.

Frustration turned to exasperation for the home crowd approaching the hour as Hummels's tame penalty was easily saved after Götze was tripped by Ricardo van Rhijn. That spurned opportunity looked as though it could cost Dortmund dear, not only on the night but also in terms of the group, yet instead Lewandowski's emphatic finish three minutes from time ensured an entirely different end to the evening. Klopp's side go level top of Group D with Real Madrid CF, themselves late victors against Manchester City FC.

Last updated: 25/09/14 4.36CET

Related information

Player profiles
Team profiles
Related match features

Who exactly are Zorya Luhansk?
  • Who exactly are Zorya Luhansk?
  • Ten claims to fame: Rapid Wien
  • Ten claims to fame: Lazio
  • Watch: When Club Brugge fell to Liverpool at Wembley
  • Best Player, reporters' view: Lionel Messi
  • Best Player, reporters' view: Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Best Player, reporters' view: Luis Suárez
  • Wexford Youths relish European bow
  • Apollon's Cuschieri ready for Hibernians reunion
  •'s weekly wonderkid: Assane Gnoukouri
1 of 10
  • © 1998-2015 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA word, the UEFA logo and all marks related to UEFA competitions, are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.