BV Borussia Dortmund failed to progress to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League despite recording a 1-0 victory at AC Milan in their final Group C game.
Effort in vain
Dortmund striker Jan Koller scored the only goal of the game on 80 minutes, but with Real Madrid CF winning by the same margin at FC Lokomotiv Moskva, the 1. Bundesliga side's heroic effort was in vain.
Milan had an opportunity to break the deadlock after just four minutes when midfield player Rui Costa threaded a ball through to Rivaldo, but with only Jens Lehmann to beat, the Brazilian was forced wide and the goalkeeper was adjudged to have got a touch to the subsequent shot.
The home side continued to enjoy sustained possession, with Rui Costa at the centre of proceedings. On 12 minutes he released Gennaro Gattuso down the right flank but the ensuing low cross was weakly turned goalwards by Rivaldo.
Frings chipped shot
Dortmund had to wait until the 15th minute to have their first shot at goal when Torsten Frings attempted a chipped shot from 20 metres but the ball dropped tamely into the arms of Christian Abbiati. With Paolo Maldini and Alessandro Nesta imposing themselves on the ineffectual Koller and Marcio Amoroso, Milan were rarely troubled for the remainder of the first half.
The hosts almost went ahead on 36 minutes after Rui Costa found himself with space in the visitors' penalty area but Lehmann got down sharply to safe and the ball spiralled away from danger. Dortmund finished the half in more adventurous mood and Nesta had to make a timely challenge on Amoroso as the forward attempted to burst into the penalty area.
The impressive Maldini was replaced by Alessandro Costacurta at the interval, but Milan continued to be an attacking threat. Rivaldo almost played a pass into the path of Cristian Brocchi on 47 minutes but the ball ran away from the midfield player.
Germans press forward
Dortmund coach Matthias Sammer replaced Stefan Reuter with the more attack-minded Lars Ricken on 50 minutes and the visitors immediately offered a greater attacking threat. Only timely interventions stopped Koller, and then Amoroso, reaching dangerous crosses as the Germans pressed more players forward.
Gattuso hits post
However, the visitors were almost made to pay on 58 minutes when Rui Costa drifted through from midfield to find Jon Dahl Tomasson who set up Gattuso for a left-footed shot that hit the outside of the post.
Christian Wörns then had to react quickly to make a challenge on Tomasson inside the area, and at the other end Abbiati was forced to push away Amoroso's curling shot which looked destined for the top corner of the net.
With just ten minutes to go Dortmund got their reward. Ricken found Koller on the edge of the area as the Milan defence failed to push out and the Czech Republic striker turned and drove a low shot into the net.