Dortmund's Champions League hopes hanging by a thread
Borussia Dortmund suffered a significant Champions League setback yesterday morning (Singapore time) when Peter Bosz's team were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Apoel of Cyprus.
Raphael Guerreiro's superb first-half goal for Borussia was cancelled out by Mickael Pote's equaliser after the break on a frustrating night for the hosts.
"I can understand the frustration, we have to win against a team like that," said Bosz as Dortmund were booed off by their fans.
"It's a very difficult situation, we need a win. We got into this together and we have to find a way out."
Dortmund remain without a win after four games in Group H and must beat Tottenham Hotspur in their next outing and hope Real Madrid drop points away to Apoel to maintain any hope of progressing.
Dortmund are third on two points, level with third-placed Apoel and five behind Real.
Tottenham, meanwhile, are through to the last 16 after beating Real 3-1.
Dortmund's only victory in five outings before this game had come against third-tier Magdeburg in the German Cup and Bosz had billed the visit of Apoel a must-win.
"We are stuck in a bad phase," said captain Marcel Schmelzer. "A second goal before the break would have done us good. We have to pull together to get out of this phase."
This was another sloppy performance in defence while their attack lacked urgency, and star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang failed to score for the fourth match running.
This was neither the result nor performance Bosz wanted ahead of Sunday morning's crunch Bundesliga showdown at home to defending champions Bayern Munich.
After creating several good chances in the opening stages, Dortmund took the lead when Shinji Kagawa's magic touch released Guerreiro.
The left back timed his run perfectly to get in behind the defence and calmly slotted home on 29 minutes.
Dortmund should have been further ahead but they were punished just after the break when, as he did in the 1-1 draw in Cyprus a fortnight ago, Benin international Pote scored for Apoel.
When Dortmund defender Marc Bartra lost the ball near the touchline, the visitors countered quickly.
The ball fell to the burly Pote, who turned quickly in the box to power his shot past Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Burki and stun the home crowd.
Late on, Aubameyang had a header pushed onto the bar by Apoel goalkeeper Nauzet Perez while at the other end, Ghayas Zahid fired over. - AFP