Late-drama letdown for Dortmund and Schalke | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 03.10.2012
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Late-drama letdown for Dortmund and Schalke

There was disappointment for Germany's Champions League sides, with both Borussia Dortmund and Schalke succumbing to late goals to draw their matches.

The two teams conceded late to narrowly miss out on wins in the Champions League group stage.

While opponents Manchester City had much of the possession in the first half-hour, Dortmund actually had more of the goal-scoring chances.

City came close in the opening moments with Samir Nasri’s shot testing Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller, who also repeatedly denied Argentine Sergio Aguero.

The Germans went on to dominate the second half, but saw one effort after another fail - Mario Götze being particularly unlucky as two of his close efforts were blocked within seconds of each other. It took a splendid Marco Reus solo effort in the 61st minute to break the deadlock, the player seizing a loose ball and charging through the City defense. He sliced his shot towards goal, the ball hitting keeper Joe Hart's hand before gliding into the net.

Fickle finger of fortune

Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus scores, passing by Manchester City's Gael Clichy (Photo: Reuters)

Reus took advantage of a loose ball before charging through the defense

An away win against the English champions seemed on the cards, although Dortmund must have already been questioning their luck as Hart stopped serious attempts by Reus, Ilkay Gündogan and Robert Lewandowski.

Then, in the 90th minute, Italy's Mario Balotelli leveled the scores for the Mancunians with a penalty that he cheekily rolled past Weidenfeller into the right of the net.

The decision was controversial, with Dortmund penalized for a questionable handball awarded against Neven Subotic. Lewandowski almost scored again just before the final whistle making it a 1-1 result.

"I have congratulated the team, they played a great match," said Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp. "But when you play like that, you want to take three points home."

"If you have a look in the dressing room now, you'll only see disappointed faces," said scorer Reus.

Heartbreak at home

There was also some late drama at Gelsenkirchen, where Montpellier had taken the lead over Schalke after just 13 minutes through Morocco forward Karim Ait-Fana.

Draxler celebrates a goal against Montpellier (Photo: Reuters)

Joy and sorrow for Draxler, Germany's youngest Champions League scorer

Schalke's Julian Draxler, who had already exposed some problems with the French defense, equalized on 26 minutes by latching on to a long pass from Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. Draxler became Germany's youngest-ever Champions League scorer by taking the ball around the keeper to slot home into an open net.

Draxler was brought down by Garry Bocaly in the area, allowing Huntelaar to level from the spot on 53 minutes, with the defender being sent off. The goal came at a price for Schalke though, as Draxler suffered a suspected fractured arm that saw him carried from the pitch.

The home side looked certain to get the win, only to be stunned by a goal in the 90th minute by Souleymane Camara.

"We should have finished the game off; it’s as simple as that," said Schalke coach Huub Stevens. The sentiment was echoed by captain Benedikt Höwedes. "It’s a bitter experience," he said. "We really did play well but weren’t able to win."

Both Schalke and Dortmund are now second in their groups, B and D respectively, on four points.

Bayern are third on three points in Group F after a disappointing 3-1 defeat against Belarusians BATE on Tuesday.

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