Borussia Dortmund achieved their first goal in the Champions League even without the Erling Haaland goal machine.
Despite the terrible news about the Norwegian attacker's failure for weeks, the Revierklub made it to the round of 16 for the third time in a row with a 1-1 draw against Lazio Rome.
Raphael Guerreiro gave BVB the lead (44th minute), but ex-Dortmund's Ciro Immobile equalized with a converted penalty (67th).
“It's different when Haaland isn't playing.
Nonetheless, we created a few scoring opportunities.
We have to be satisfied with the draw, ”said BVB sports director Michael Zorc.
With a success, BVB would have won the group ahead of schedule before the preliminary round at Zenit St. Petersburg next Tuesday.
In the end, the team of coach Lucien Favre even had to tremble and endure anxious minutes.
BVB goalkeeper Roman Bürki steered a shot from Immobile around the post (87th).
The injury to defense chief Mats Hummels in the final phase diminished the joy of making it into the knockout round.
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The frustration over the short-term failure of the top scorer, Haaland, who had torn a muscle fiber in the final training for the game and, according to Favre, his team will be missing "until the New Year", did not initially carry over to the team.
In the first few minutes, BVB, who also had to do without national player Emre Can and full-back Thomas Meunier, dominated the game, but initially did not shake the strong defense of the Italians.
Questionable penalty for Lazio
"That hurts us of course", Zorc had said before kick-off about the absence of Haaland.
"Now the others have to fix it." One of the others was captain Marco Reus, who was ordered by Favre to be at the fore, but had a hard time and was replaced after 76 minutes.
After half an hour Reus had the opportunity to make it 1-0, but the angle was too sharp.
Dortmund were aggressive and secure on the ball, but couldn't get through for a long time.
In addition, they had to stay alert on the defensive - especially against ex-BVB professional Immobile.
The former Dortmund Ciro Immobile scores with a penalty to equalize
Source: AFP / BERND THISSEN
Apart from the two scoring chances, both teams hardly got any dangerous penalty area scenes until shortly before the break.
As the game was losing speed and entertainment value, Guerreiro, who had recovered from a muscle injury and returned to the team, struck.
After a pass from Thorgan Hazard, the Portuguese gave Borussia the lead with a shot from eleven meters.
After the restart, Lazio pushed for the equalizer.
Without Haaland, Borussia lacked relief on the offensive.
Therefore, she came under increasing pressure and was punished: After a duel between the newly substituted Nico Schulz and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, the Spanish referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz decided on a penalty kick.
It was a dubious decision.
Immobile did not miss this chance, he confidently converted the penalty.
“We played against good opponents.
We could have scored a second goal and got an unjustified penalty against us.
That was theater.
We are qualified, that's the most important thing, ”said Favre.