The Perfect 10 Part 5: Borussia Dortmund vs Malaga (2013 UCL Quarter Final)
Borussia Dortmund welcomed Malaga to the Signal Iduna Park in the second-leg of their 2013 UCL Quarter Final tie. They had played out a stalemate in the first leg against the Spaniards who were playing in the premier European competition for the first time in their history.
One spectacle, in particular, caught the eye prior to kick-off. Dortmund’s illustrious Yellow Wall unveiled a special banner of a man wearing binoculars alongside the message, “On the Trail of the Lost Cup”, referring to their previous European triumph in 1997.
And with just eight minutes left on the clock, the match was on course for a heartbreaking upset for the German side, who had little chance of cruising to the Semi-Finals. However, what happened in the minutes ahead gave every BVB fan goosebumps.
Dortmund had failed to make their dominance count at La Roselada a week before, and it looked to be a recurring theme when Joaquin put Manuel Pellegrini’s side ahead in the 25th minute. Julio Baptista pounced on a dreadful clearance from Santano, and his pass found Joaquin, who after a one-two with Isco, slotted the ball past Roman Weidenfeller. BVB fans all over the stadium were frustrated, but were eased when Lewandowski scored the equaliser just 5 minutes prior to half-time. Mario Gotze’s pass was beautifully flicked by Reus into Lewandowski’s path who rounded Willy and finished a swift move which made the score 1-1.
The second half was another close battle, with both teams looking resolute enough to deny each other the win. Pelligrini’s men’s defensive organisation was exemplary and after Dortmund had a goal correctly ruled out for offside, Duda’s thunderous strike nearly added to the disappointment of the home fans. The visiting side’s goalkeeper, Williy, heroically helped his team end the first leg goalless and he was at it again this time – superbly denying both Reus and Gotze from close range.
Just when Dortmund looked like finally paving the way for the winning goal, the unthinkable happened. A swift break from the Spanish club was rounded off with a fine finish by second-half substitute Eliseu, who gave Malaga the lead with just 8 minutes of normal time left. And with stoppage time lurking, BVB needed to score two goals to progress to the last four. Could they do it?
Klopp’s men were sloppy in the final third as they helplessly searched for the goals. Just then, Marco Reus did it again when it all mattered – scoring a sensational goal from a long ball to make it 2-2 in the 91st minute. Even though Dortmund had levelled, the most likely outcome was them going out on away goals. However, the script took a dramatic turn just two minutes later. Felipe Santana finished off a move from one yard out as he pounced upon a scramble within Malaga’s defence to win it for his side. The stadium, which was full of nail-biting supporters, suddenly saw a turnaround from utter despair one moment to complete exultation the next.
Once again the men in yellow had done it. They’d been successful in completing one of the most electrifying comebacks in the history of the game.
However, despite an exciting campaign, they still couldn’t win back “that” glory, as after defeating Real Madrid in the final four, they had a heartbreak at the hands of bitter rivals Bayern Munich in the final.
But more of that in the later issues of The Perfect Ten. Stay tuned for Part 7 same time next week!