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Last-gasp Dortmund comeback stuns Málaga

Published: Tuesday 9 April 2013, 23.08CET
Borussia Dortmund 3-2 Málaga CF (agg: 3-2)
With a semi-final place slipping away, Dortmund pulled off a miraculous comeback after added-time goals from Marco Reus and Felipe Santana.
by Andy James
from BVB Stadion Dortmund

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Published: Tuesday 9 April 2013, 23.08CET

Last-gasp Dortmund comeback stuns Málaga

Borussia Dortmund 3-2 Málaga CF (agg: 3-2)
With a semi-final place slipping away, Dortmund pulled off a miraculous comeback after added-time goals from Marco Reus and Felipe Santana.

Borussia Dortmund progressed to the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 1998 after a sensational 3-2 victory over Málaga CF.

On a truly memorable night, the visitors took the lead twice through Joaquín and substitute Eliseu. In spite of Robert Lewandowski's 40th-minute equaliser in between, Málaga looked set for the last four until added-time strikes from Marco Reus and Felipe Santana – in the 91st and 93rd minutes – brought an end to a remarkable debut season in the competition for Manuel Pellegrini's side.

The recently dethroned Bundesliga champions were confronted by a Málaga team who had clearly learned from last week's quarter-final first-leg stalemate. The Spanish outfit afforded their hosts precious little time on the ball early on, refusing them a sight of goal until the 16th minute when Lewandowski's delicate chip beat both goalkeeper and crossbar.

As Dortmund gradually gained a hold on possession, Málaga remained economical with the ball and used the powerful Júlio Baptista to great effect. It was the Brazilian whose expert control of a high ball led to the opening goal as his pass to Isco was fed on to Joaquín, who turned and fired through the legs of Neven Subotić and beyond Roman Weidenfeller.

The 200th goal Borussia have conceded in UEFA competition briefly hushed the BVB Stadion, but the home fans were right to maintain faith as Dortmund conjured an equaliser which oozed class. With Jürgen Klopp's charges passing out patiently from the back, Mario Götze gave the ball infield to Reus, whose majestic flick sent Lewandowski through to round Willy and slot into the net.

Requiring another, the German club increased the intensity but had Weidenfeller to thank for keeping out a pair of free headers for Joaquín either side of the interval. Yet when Eliseu prodded in Baptista's initial finish with seven minutes left to give Málaga the aggregate advantage, it seemed a certainty that the Gelbschwarzen's dreams were over.

Dortmund, though, were not about to give up their title as the only unbeaten team in this season's competition and even after two incredible Willy saves to deny Reus and Götze, they valiantly threw everything forward.

Faint hopes were restored when Reus capitalised on a defensive mix-up to level proceedings on the night at 2-2 and set up a grandstand finale – but few, if any, of the 65,829 packed inside the BVB Stadion will forget the moment Felipe Santana poked over the line at the last to complete one of the greatest comebacks in UEFA Champions League history.

Last updated: 04/12/13 5.56CET

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