BV Borussia Dormund will take a slender one-goal advantage into the second leg of their UEFA Cup first-round tie with FK Austria Wien after Lars Ricken's deflected 67th-minute goal gave them a 2-1 win in the Ernst Happel stadium.
After an edgy first ten minutes it was the home side that seemed to settle first, despite not creating many opportunities. Vladimír Janocko recovered from flu to make the starting lineup for Joachim Löw's team and his influence was pivotal in many of the best things the Austrian double-winners did.
Yet, despite their good start, it was Dortmund who carved out the first genuine scoring opportunities of the match, spurning two in quick succession. On 20 minutes, a corner fell to Christian Wörns but, just five metres out, he somehow contrived to blast his effort over the bar. Then, just moments later, Sebastian Kehl was presented with an opportunity but brave goalkeeping from Thomas Mandl thwarted him as he poked his attempt goalwards.
After an even first 30 minutes, Austria's first chance was also met with some top-class goalkeeping. The busy Radoslaw Gilewicz saw a volley saved by Roman Weidenfeller and the keeper was alert enough to deny the Polish striker as the ball rebounded back to him, diving bravely at the 32-year-old's feet.
Austria were caught napping seven minutes before the interval, however, as Otto Addo pounced for the opening goal. Ricken found the Ghanaian in acres of space and he made no mistake, placing the ball calmly past Thomas Mandl.
The lead lasted merely a minute though as Janocko produced a moment of class which proved just why he was voted Austrian player of the year last season. The Slovakian midfield player hit a sublime 30-metre free-kick into the top corner of the net, giving Weidenfeller no chance and sending the crowd into raptures.
The goal fired Austria into life and they ended the first half and started the second looking the more likely winners. Indeed, they could have easily found themselves in front when their captain Michael Wagner saw a long-range strike clip the top of the bar on 56 minutes.
Despite their dominance it was Dortmund who claimed the next goal, Ricken finding the net against the run of play with the help of a Frank Verlaat deflection seven minutes past the hour.
The goal hit Austria's confidence hard and they could have found themselves futher behind but for a rash volley wide from substitute David Odonkor, 12 minutes from time with just Weidenfeller to beat.
Afterwards, disappointed Austria captain Wagner said: "
We expected more. We had good chances to score but we didn't and this is the main difference between top European teams and Austrian sides. Dortmund had three chances and scored twice. Against such a team you cannot make such mistakes."
Meanwhile, Dortmund's growing injury list shows no signs of relenting with both Dede and Addo picking up knee injuries during the victory in Austria. The return leg will be played in Germany on 15 October.