Sporting take round of 16 with 3-1 win over Dortmund

LISBON: Sporting Lisbon beat Borussia Dortmund 3-1 on Wednesday at 10 with two goals from Pedro Gonçalves to clinch their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time in 13 years and eliminate the Germans from the competition.

Gonçalves scored twice in the first half to lead his team to their 10th consecutive victory in all competitions and nine points in Group C, three ahead of the Germans with one game to play and a better head-to-head, after having lost 1-0 to Dortmund in September.

Sporting, in the round of 16 for the first time since 2008-09, took advantage of a disastrous clearance from Nico Schulz who sent the ball straight to Goncalves who put it past goalkeeper Gregor Kobel after half an hour .

The midfielder, who also scored twice last week in his Portuguese Cup fourth round victory, rose from 20 meters nine minutes later to put Sporting firmly in control.

“We are in the round of 16 and it’s great, it’s good for the project, but we still have a lot to do,” said Sporting coach Ruben Amorim.

“It was an incredible atmosphere, in a match where we knew how to take our moments. Pedro scored the goals but the others had a very good game, gave everything.

“The team has grown and adapted. Today they played against a great team, which made us retreat. They played better than in Germany, but we were also better. ”

Dortmund, still without injured striker Erling Haaland, fought after the break, looking for a goal that would keep their qualifying hopes alive, and had an effort deemed offside but lacked precision in their last past.

Their hopes of a comeback were dashed, however, when Emre Can was sent off in the 75th for a foul on Pedro Porro.

Sporting were awarded a penalty four minutes later and Porro recovered with a header after Kobel saved Gonçalves’ shot on goal to deny him a hat-trick.

Dortmund, who scored in stoppage time thanks to Donyell Malen, wondered how a campaign that started with two wins could not have earned any points in the next three matches.

“We are discussing at the end of the same mistakes that we keep making,” said Dortmund captain Marco Reus. “Even with 10, we were better than Sporting with 11 players. They did little but still won 3-1.

“We had the game under control until 1-0. Then we allowed them to bring the score to 2-0. It was a terrible evening. We are eliminated and it is the truth. “

The Germans will enter the Europa League as the third team in the group. Ajax Amsterdam grabbed the top spot with a 2-1 win over Besiktas, their fifth win in five matches. -Reuters

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