• Thursday, May 30, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

UCL: Fuellkrug goal hands Dortmund first-leg advantage over PSG

Niclas Fuellkrug

Borussia Dortmund secured a crucial 1-0 victory over Paris St-Germain (PSG) in the first leg of their Uefa Champions League semi-final, thanks to a brilliant goal from Niclas Fullkrug.

In a fiercely contested match, Dortmund showed determination and resilience as they outplayed their heavily favoured opponents. Fullkrug, making his Champions League debut at 31, capitalised on a lofted pass from centre-back Nico Schlotterbeck in the 36th minute, firing a powerful shot into the bottom left corner of the net.

Despite PSG’s efforts, led by Kylian Mbappe, including hitting the post twice in quick succession in the second half, they couldn’t find the breakthrough.

Dortmund’s victory keep their dream of reaching the final alive, while PSG will look to overturn the deficit in the second leg at home.

“I think we today showed a classic team performance. Each helped the other to win the game. We needed a bit of luck a couple of times, but we can be very satisfied with our performance,” said Mats Hummels said.

“It was a very satisfying, very grown-up performance from us.”

Dortmund, who had already lost and drawn against PSG this season in the group stage, can continue to dream of a return to Wembley 11 years after their last Champions League final.

Despite the defeat, PSG will remain confident of overturning the deficit at home next week against a side they thoroughly outclassed at their home venue in September.

“The Parc (PSG’s stadium) and our supporters are giving us hope for the second leg, and we know we can do much better,” PSG captain Marquinhos told Canal+.

Manager Edin Terzic acknowledged PSG’s strong squad, built over the past decade, but Dortmund’s passionate performance, fueled by an enthusiastic home crowd, proved decisive. Jadon Sancho’s impressive display and Fullkrug’s clinical finish highlighted Dortmund’s determination to succeed.

The win not only boosts Dortmund’s chances in the current tournament but also secures Germany an additional Champions League spot for the next season, ensuring Dortmund’s continued participation in the prestigious competition.