Champions League: Dortmund look to overturn first-leg defeat against Benfica | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 07.03.2017
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Champions League: Dortmund look to overturn first-leg defeat against Benfica

Borussia Dortmund slipped to a 1-0 defeat in Lisbon three weeks ago and require at least two goals and victory to progress to the quarterfinals. Now they will aim to reverse that deficit in front of their home fans.

Borussia Dortmund welcome Portuguese champions Benfica to the Signal Iduna Park in the last 16 of the Champions League on Wednesday looking to overturn a 1-0 defeat from the first leg in Lisbon three weeks ago.

Despite dominating the game in the Portuguese capital, Thomas Tuchel's side were punished for wasteful finishing when Kostas Mitroglou scored the winning goal just after the halftime break, with the hosts' only shot of the game.

Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was particularly wasteful in front of goal in Portugal and even missed a penalty in the second half, leaving the Black and Yellows requiring at least two goals to book their place in the quarterfinals.

UEFA Champions League | Benfica Lissabon vs Borussia Dortmund Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang verschießt Elfmeter (Reuters/P. Nunes)

BVB could use a goal or two from Aubameyang

"This is why we have return legs - for games like this!" said coach Tuchel after the first leg defeat - and his side's form has improved significantly in the intervening weeks with convincing Bundesliga victories over Wolfsburg (3-0), Freiburg (3-0) and Bayer Leverkusen (6-2).

Benfica, though, have something to hold on to and won't give up their lead without a fight. At the weekend, they won 1-0 away at CD Feirense to consolidate their position at the top of Portuguese league and will travel to Germany full of confidence.

Away goal danger

 "It's going to be a difficult game," said BVB defender Marc Bartra. "We need to remain calm and be patient - it's going to be a long 90 minutes!"

Bartra also highlighted the importance of keeping things tight at the back since a Benfica away goal would leave Dortmund needing at least three to progress.

"We have to stand firm defensively," he said. "Up front, the goals will come." His central defensive partner, Sokratis, agreed."Against Benfica, we will have to play 300 per cent better than we did against Leverkusen."

Dortmund will again be without long-term absentees Sebastian Rode and Sven Bender, while Mario Götze could be out for the rest of the season after doctors diagnosed a metabolic disorder. Marco Reus will also miss the match after tearing a muscle in his thigh against Leverkusen on Saturday and could be replaced by either André Schürrle or Christian Pulisic, both of whom made an impact off the bench at the weekend.

Deutschland Borussia Dortmund - Bayer Leverkusen | Reus verletzt (picture alliance/dpa/F. Gentsch)

Reus sustained yet another injury on Saturday

But Thomas Tuchel will be encouraged by his squad's strength in depth - 16 of Borussia Dortmund's Bundesliga goals this season have come from substitutes, including seven goals and nine assists. Raphael Guerreiro, who was born in France but won the 2016 European Championships with Portugal alongside Benfica stars Eliseu und Rafa Silva, will have an important role to play in midfield.


History is also on Dortmund's side. The Black and Yellows have won every one of their five previous home games against Portuguese opposition, including a 1-0 win over Benfica's local rivals Sporting Lisbon in this season's group stage.

The last time Dortmund faced Benfica in the 1963-64 European Cup, the German side overturned a 2-1 first-leg deficit with a 5-0 home win over the previous year's runners-up - although Portuguese legend Eusebio missed that match through injury.

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