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APOEL 1 Borussia Dortmund 1: Sokratis header spares Burki´s blushes

17 October 2017 23:03

Borussia Dortmund failed to kickstart their Champions League campaign as they had to settle for a 1-1 draw at APOEL on Tuesday.

Having lost to Tottenham and Real Madrid to sit bottom of Group H, Peter Bosz's side needed to make up ground in the battle to qualify for the knockout stages.

However, a club famed for their Yellow Wall struggled to break down opponents wearing the same-coloured shirts in Cyprus and they remain six points behind Real and Tottenham.

They needed a towering header from Sokratis Papastathopoulos just to pick up a point on their travels, the defender sparing the blushes of his goalkeeper Roman Burki, who gifted APOEL the lead.

The Switzerland international's careless pass presented Lorenzo Ebecilio with possession and although Burki blocked the tame shot that followed, Mickael Pote seized on the rebound to coolly break the deadlock in the 62nd minute and score APOEL's first Champions League goal since September 2014.

Although Papastathopoulos levelled five minutes later, a draw for Dortmund served another blow after they saw their unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season ended by RB Leipzig on Saturday.

Despite losing goalkeeper Boy Waterman and forward Igor de Camargo to shoulder injuries in the first half, APOEL frustrated a Dortmund side that struggled for fluency in attack despite dominating possession.

Andriy Yarmolenko and Shinji Kagawa were both guilty of blazing over in promising positions, albeit they could be excused for questioning the state of a pitch best described as uneven.

An ailing De Camargo departed proceedings in the 30th minute and was soon joined in the home changing room by team-mate Waterman, who landed awkwardly after coming off his line to punch clear a cross from Marcel Schmelzer.

Substitute goalkeeper Raul Gudino - on loan from Porto - was thrust into action for his APOEL debut, yet the rookie was rarely tested before his opposite number at the other end of the field had a moment to forget.

When Burki compounded his initial error of gifting possession to Ebecilio by fumbling the resulting shot, Pote could not believe his luck. The Benin international waltzed around the stranded keeper and rolled the ball into an empty net, giving the hosts an unlikely lead.

APOEL's hopes of a first win in the competition since March 2012 suffered a setback when Dortmund engineered an equaliser from a short corner.

Mario Gotze worked a two-on-one with Schmelzer before sending over a looping cross to the back post that Sokratis nodded home, much to Burki's relief.

Gudino denied Dortmund a second goal in as many minutes when his deft touch on a fierce Kagawa drive was enough to deflect the ball against crossbar and the visitors were denied by the woodwork again deep into injury time.

Christian Pulisic's mazy run and cross appeared to have set up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to grab an undeserved winner, only for the combination of APOEL's replacement goalkeeper and the right post to deny Dortmund at the death.

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