Dark days for Borussia Dortmund
NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP):
Borussia Dortmund's hopes of making the second round of the Champions League took a major blow when they were held at APOEL Nicosi to 1-1 yesterday.
After losing their opening games in Group H to Tottenham and Real Madrid, Dortmund needed a win to kick-start their campaign in Europe's premier club competition. They didn't.
"In the end we have to be happy we didn't lose the game. It will be difficult now," Dortmund coach Peter Bosz said of his side's hopes of progression.
Dortmund, who reached the final in 2013, started well against a side that hadn't scored in its previous six games, but then stagnated as APOEL organised.
Despite suffering a double blow in the first half when striker Igor De Camargo and goalkeeper Boy Waterman both went off with injuries, APOEL managed to restrict the visitors' space and opportunities.
Dortmund's lacklustre performance continued after the break and the noisy stadium erupted in joy when Mickael Pote ended APOEL's barren run in front of goal - thanks to a mistake from goalkeeper Roman Buerki.
Buerki's attempted pass out went straight to Lorenzo Ebecilio, who eluded Marcel Schmelzer and fired a shot that Buerki failed to gather. Pote was first to react to score from the rebound.
Greek defender Sokratis equalised five minutes later with a header to Mario Goetze's cross.