Published — Thursday 11 April 2013
Last update 11 April 2013 12:23 pm
DORTMUND, Germany: Needing two goals in second-half stoppage time, Borussia Dortmund’s Champions League hopes appeared bleak.
What followed was one of the most dramatic late comebacks in the tournament’s history.
Marco Reus and Felipe Santana scored in injury time, and Dortmund advanced to the semifinals for the first time in 15 years by beating Malaga 3-2 Wednesday night following a scoreless first leg last week.
“I just can’t really believe it,” said Neven Subotic, the Dortmund defender who grew up in Salt Lake City and played for the US Under-20 team. “This is the craziest moment in all of my footballing career.”
Real Madrid reached the final four for the third straight year, holding off Galatasaray to advance on 5-3 aggregate despite a 3-2 loss in Istanbul. Cristiano Ronaldo scored the first and final goals of the game for Madrid, giving him 48 goals in 47 matches this season — including a Champions League-leading 11.
At Dortmund, Malaga build a 2-1 lead on goals by Joaquin in the 25th and Elizeu in the 82nd around Robert Lewandowski’s 40th-minute goal for the hosts.
Reus scored in the first of four minutes of stoppage time after Mats Hummels sent a long ball from the center circle over Martin Demichelis. The ball landed for Subotic, who tapped it to Santana. His attempt was blocked, and Reus put the rebound with a left-footed shot from 8 yards.
That tied the aggregate, leaving Dortmund behind on away goals.
Lewandowski then took Marcel Schmelzer’s throw-in about 25 yards out and sent the ball into the penalty area, with several attackers in what appeared to be offside positions. Julian Schieber chested the ball down to Reus, who crossed in front of the goal. It bounced off defender Vitorino Antunes, and Schreiber beat goalkeeper Wilfredo Caballero to the ball. It bounced back off Antunes at the goal line and came out to Santana, who tapped it in.
“I think I need to see a doctor. It feels like we’ve won the trophy,” Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp said. “My assistants and me were looking at each other in shock in the dressing room and saying ‘this is crazy’. This is the best I’ve ever felt.”
Dortmund had not reached the semis since 1998, a year after its only title in Europe’s top club tournament. A year later came the most famous Champions League comeback, when Manchester United scored twice in stoppage time to defeat Bayern Munich in the final.
Under coach Manuel Pellegrini, Malaga was trying to become the first team to reach the semis in its Champions League debut since Villarreal in 2006, also coached by Pellegrini.
“We’re still trying to come to terms with what happened,” Malaga forward Roque Santa Cruz said. “We were four minutes away from the semis. There is huge disappointment in the dressing room. We had the tie in our hands.”
Coming off a 3-0 win at home this week, Madrid went ahead on Ronaldo’s seventh-minute goal, which left Galatasaray needing five to win. Goals by Emmaneul Eboue in the 57th, Wesley Sneijder in the 71st and Didier Drogba in the 72nd cut the aggregate gap before Ronaldo scored in the second minute of stoppage time.
Yesterday, Barcelona hosted Paris Saint-Germain after a 2-2 draw in the first leg and tries to reach its sixth straight semifinal. Juventus was home trying to overturn a 2-0 deficit against Bayern Munich.
The semifinals draw is tomorrow.