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UEFA Champions League
September 18, 2012
• Signal-Iduna-Park, Dortmund
Referee: P. Tagliavento
• Attendance: 65829
R. Lewandowski 87'
That's all from me, thank you all for joining me for what was an exciting match between the reigning Bundesliga and Eredivisie champions. I'm Charlie Scott, you're all wonderful, good night.
Elsewhere in Group D, a very late goal from the 'unhappy' Cristiano Ronaldo won it for Real Madrid against Manchester City at the Santiago Bernabeu.
FULL-TIME: BORUSSIA DORTMUND 1-0 AJAX. A late Robert Lewandowski strike broke Ajax hearts here at the Signal Iduna Park, as the home side secured all three points in this Group D fixture. The goal was richly deserved, as the Bundesliga champions completely dominated the second half, after a fairly even opening 45 minutes. Jurgen Klopp, the Dortmund boss, will be delighted to have won their opening match of the group, after his side won just four points in the group stages last year.
90' + 3'
And there it is! The final whistle! Dortmund are 1-0 winners!
90' + 3'
The referee is looking at his watch here, as Dortmund continue to attack in the dying seconds.
90' + 2'
However it is Perisic that takes it, but his effort is weak, and straight into the Ajax wall.
90' + 1'
Dortmund win a free-kick 35 yards out just right of centre. Reus looks like he fancies this one...
We are into added time here, with Dortmund looking comfortable.
The whole complexion of Group D has just changed in a matter of seconds. Dortmund have taken the lead here, and Madrid have equalised against Manchester City. Which means... Dortmund are top of Group D as things stand.
Assist Lukasz Piszczek
Goal Robert Lewandowski
GOALLLL!!! LEWANDOWSKI!! 1-0 TO DORTMUND!! They have finally broken through! The Poland international, who has endured a fairly torrid time this evening, slams a shot past Vermeer from close range after shaking off a challenge from Alderweireld.
What's this? Manchester City have re-taken the lead at the Bernabeu. It's 2-1 to the English side, with five minutes to go. They will go top of Group D if they win and this match remains the same.
Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp doesn't seem happy with his team, and is set to make a double substitution as we head into the final 5 minutes or so.
I've never rated Christian Poulsen, and I've seen nothing tonight to make me think about changing my mind! The midfielder has just hammered a pass straight out of play on the far side under no pressure from a Dortmund player. Disappointing stuff from the veteran.
Dortmund should really be testing Vermeer there. The home side appear to have a man up as Schmelzer surges down the left but when he slots the ball into the centre, Lewandowski and Gotze over-complicate things and allow Ajax to nick the ball away to safety.
The departing striker had a tough task leading the line tonight, and was feeding off scraps for much of his time on the pitch as his side have been firmly on the back foot, particularly in the second half.
De Boer decides to make a change for the visitors, Ryan Babel is taken off for Lasse Schone.
It's 1-1 in the other game in Group D. Real Madrid have equalised against Manchester City, courtesy of their left-back Marcelo.
Seconds after that tackle from Van Rhijn, the Dortmund sub Perisic appeared to be fouled just outside the Ajax area by De Jong, but the referee saw nothing in it and waved play long. Big decision from the Italian official.
HUGE CHALLENGE FROM VAN RHIJN! The young Ajax defender puts in a marvelous tackle on Schmelzer inside his own area as Dortmund go in search of a goal to break the deadlock.
TIGHT DECISION FROM THE LINESMAN!! An exquisite crossfield ball from Eriksen sets Sana free inside the Dortmund box, but the linesman on the near side has his flag up for offside.
Perisic nearly makes an immediate impact for Dortmund as he shakes off the attention of Blind before curling a cross towards Lewandowski in the Ajax area. Under pressure from Moisander and Alderweireld, the striker can only head straight up in the air though.
The corner is eventually taken by Reus, but is headed away comfortably by the impressive Moisander. He has been a colossus at the back for Ajax tonight.
Schmelzer goes rampaging down the left for Dortmund and does well to win his side a corner off the legs of Van Rhijn. Before the set piece is taken, Klopp is going to make a change, with Ivan Perisic replacing Kuba for the home side.
Some really good hold-up play from Ryan Babel on the right for Ajax prompts some cheers from the Ajax fans up in the stands, but it does not result in a chance, and at the moment that is what they need. Both sides know they need to win here if they want a chance of qualifying alongside either Real Madrid or Manchester City.
There's been a goal at the Bernabeu. Manchester City lead Real Madrid 1-0 in Spain. Edin Dzeko has got the goal.
Vermeer looks slightly dazed after colliding with Moisander and Lewandowski there, and the Ajax substitute goalkeeper Cillessen is warming up on the sidelines in case he cannot continue.
Poulsen is robbed of the ball far too easily by Gotze just inside the Ajax half, and the home side immediately counter through Lewandowski. The ball is eventually played out to the left to Schmelzer, who curls an enticing cross towards Lewandowski at the back post that gets nodded over the Ajax bar by a combination of Vermeer and Moisander.
Just to let you all know, it is still 0-0 in the other game in Group D between Real Madrid and Manchester City, so as things stand, all four teams are tied on one point.
Dortmund are on the attack once more, and it's Reus again who is causing problems. He jinxes his way into the Ajax area on the right but cannot find a team-mate with his chipped cross.
REUS GOES CLOSE FROM MILES OUT!! The Dortmand youngster curls a speculative free-kick at goal from 40 yards out that has Vermeer back-tracking in the Ajax goal. The keeper gets in position in the right time to catch the ball right underneath his crossbar.
Somehow, this match is still goalless! It only seems like a matter of time before one of the sides breaks the deadlock though, with Dortmund looking particularly dangerous so far in this second half.
Penalty save Kenneth Vermeer
BUT IT IS SAVED BY VERMEER!! Hummels is the man guilty of missing the penalty, as he hits a weak effort low towards the bottom right-hand corner. Vermeer and his team-mates are ecstatic, as they feel Gotze made a meal of that challenge from Van Rhijn.
Missed Penalty Mats Hummels
Yellow Card Ricardo van Rhijn
DORTMUND HAVE A PENALTY!! The youngster Ricardo van Rhijn brings down Gotze inside the box, and the referee has no option but to give the spot-kick.
Reus swings a corner in from the left for Klopp's men and it causes all sorts of havoc inside the Ajax box, with Moisander so confused he appears to sit on the ball. Fortunately for the bewildered defender, it is cleared away by Alderweireld.
It's been backs-against-the-wall stuff from Ajax in the opening 10 minutes of this second half, they are being pinned back by a Dortmund side that look like they mean business after a fairly disappointing first half.
Hummels is starting to enjoy himself for the yellow and blacks. He's come marauding out of defence on a number of occasions in this second half, and this time plays a defence-splitting pass to the overlapping Piszczek that is hurriedly gathered by Vermeer on the edge of his box.
SAVE BY VERMEER!! Reus tries to slide a low effort under the Ajax stopper but he pulls off a fine stop to block the shot out for a corner. Another big chance for the home side to take the lead! How many chances are they going to waste?
NAUGHTY FROM SCHMELZER! The Dortmund left-back, in what is perhaps vengeance for Sana's foul on him in the first half, goes in to an aerial challenge with the Ajax youngster leading distinctly with his elbow.
The Dortmund faithful did not look best pleased with that effort from their star striker, and rightly so, it was pretty abject, he really should have done better!
HUGE CHANCE FOR LEWANDOWSKI!! You would have backed the striker to score there! Gotze switches the play from right to left to the Pole on the edge of the Ajax box, he lets it run on to his left foot before cutting back onto his right, but can only fire his shot high over Vermeer's crossbar.
Wiedenfeller saves well from Eriksen at the resulting corner, as the Denmark international attempts an ambitious scissor-kick after the ball ballooned up into the air.
Babel wins a corner for Ajax on the left. They work it short, and the ball finds itself back at the feet of the former Liverpool man. He shifts it onto his right foot and shoots at goal, but his effort is deflected over.
Ajax immediately attack down the left, but are stopped in their tracks by Piszczek who goes motoring forward with the ball for Dortmund before hooking a cross towards Lewandowski inside the Ajax penalty area.
The second half is underway here in Dortmund...
So, you've heard my thoughts, now I would like to hear yours. Tweet me at @charliefscott, with your opinion of the match so far, and what you would like to see in the second half. Let's get this twitter-ball rolling...
There have been no goals in the other game in Group D either, as Real Madrid hold Manchester City 0-0 at the Santiago Bernabeu in Spain.
So, we are goalless at the break here in Dortmund. Despite the lack of goals it has been an entertaining affair between the Bundesliga and Eredivisie champions. We've had some crazy goalkeeping, with both side's stoppers fancying themselves as sweepers and attempting to venture out of their penalty areas, while Marco Reus has looked bright on his Champions League debut for the home side. Eriksen wasted Ajax's best chance early on, while Schmelzer had a good effort saved for Dortmund.
HALF-TIME: BORUSSIA DORTMUND 0-0 AJAX
The referee blows his whistle bang on the 45 minute mark to signal the end of the first half. It's all square here!
A neat pass from Gundogan nearly set Piszczek away at the end of the half, but Poulsen is there for Ajax to intercept the pass and clear the danger.
The Dortmund fans are whistling their team as Ajax enjoy an extended period of possession. Seems slightly harsh, as their side have looked the better team so far.
Play has calmed down somewhat here, after a fairly hectic fifteen minutes or so!
MORE GOOD PLAY FROM DORTMUND!! Gotze takes the ball down brilliantly inside the penalty area before shifting the ball out to Kuba on the right. The attacker chips a fine cross into the area but it is just above the head of Lewandowski, who is straining to get on the end of it.
If that hadn't been such an obviously bookable offence from Sana, I would wonder if the referee, a hairdresser by profession, hadn't decided to show the youngster a yellow card for his rather questionable hairstyle...
Reus curls an effort at goal from the set piece, but it is straight down the front of Vermeer, who pats the ball down before catching it, despite being under pressure from Lewandowski and Hummels. Very calm goalkeeping from the Ajax man!
Yellow Card Tobias Sana
YELLOW CARD FOR SANA!! The young Ajax forward is rightly booked after hacking Schmelzer to the deck and Dortmund have ANOTHER free-kick in a dangerous area, just to the left of the Ajax box.
WEIDENFELLER IS ALL OVER THE PLACE!! The Dortmund keeper has a complete rush of blood to the head and goes charging out of his goal as Boerrigter races towards him. The goalkeeper stops that attack but instead of returning to his goal continues trying to close down the ball outside the area! Madness. Luckily for his team, Subotic cleared it away before Ajax could get a decent shot at the open goal!
LAST-DITCH DEFENDING FROM AJAX!! The away side are coming under increasing pressure as this half wears on, and only a timely hacked clearance from Moisander is enough to stop Gotze from getting a shot on goal.
One team that are off the mark tonight though, are Paris Saint-Germain. They are 3-0 up against Dynamo Kiev, with just 34 minutes played!
A quick update from elsewhere in Group D: Real Madrid 0-0 Manchester City.
WONDERFUL PLAY FROM DORTMUND!! Schmelzer and Reus are linking well down the left in this first half, and their interplay on this occasion very nearly results in the opening goal of the game. Schmelzer races onto Reus' slipped pass but fires straight at Vermeer, who is relieved to see the ball bounce away to safety.
RISKY PLAY FROM VERMEER!! A looping pass to Lewandowski on the left draws the keeper out of his area, but the Dortmund striker cannot quite loop the ball over Vermeer and into the empty net. That could have been messy!
Lewandowski is down again. I swear he's spent more time sitting down than on his feet so far. The referee is having none of it as the Pole crumples to the turf inside the area under a challenge from Moisander, and play carries on.
Dortmund win another free-kick in a promising position as De Jong flies into Gotze. They take it quickly to try and get Reus in on the left-hand side of the penalty area but the Ajax defender Alderweireld is alert to the attack and nips in to hoof the ball upfield and away from his team's goal.
Rather than attempting a shot at goal, Gotze chips the set piece towards Lewandowski at the back post but Vermeer is out well to claim the ball and avert the danger.
Dortmund have a free-kick 35 yards from goal. Reus and Gotze line it up...
Subotic strides forward out of defence for Dortmund before playing the ball into Lewandowski. The striker cannot get the ball out of his feet to get a shot away though, and is shepherded away from goal by Moisander.
Confident goalkeeping from Vermeer! The Ajax stopper comes rushing off his line to pick off Piszczek's hopeful punt forward.
Ajax are not happy about that! Poulsen pokes the ball away from Lewandowski on the halfway line and the Polish striker immediately goes down clutching his ankle. That didn't look like a foul to me, but the referee has given the home side a free-kick!
Ajax fire the ball into their captain Siem De Jong, who is making a bursting run into the Dortmund box, but he cannot control the ball, and it is intercepted by Hummels and cleared away from danger.
It's been a fairly stop-start opening 20 minutes here in Dortmund.
Schmelzer and Kuba switch the ball neatly on the left for the home side but when the eventual cross is sent into the penalty area, Lewandowski is flagged offside.
Dortmund are pushing men forward, as their fans urge them on, but they are struggling to break through the Ajax defence at the moment.
As Ajax look to break themselves through Babel, they are pulled by the referee, with the linesman on the far side adjudging the former Liverpool man to be in an offside position.
Dortmund have two chances to take the lead in the space of minutes, first Gotze having a shot blocked, before Vermeer, the Ajax goalkeeper, makes a save from Piszczek.
Eriksen has a chance for Ajax!! The young Dane has an opportunity to test Weidenfeller, but he misses the target with his shot at goal.
Now Dortmund have given away a silly foul. Mario Gotze goes in late on the Ajax defender Moisander, and the referee rightly awards the visitors a free-kick.
Kuba's pace appears to be causing the Ajax defence problems in the opening exchanges, but the attacker has been unable to play in his team-mate Lewandowski as yet.
That's a needless foul to give away from the Ajax striker. After being caught offside, seconds later Boerrigter concedes a free-kick after catching the Dortmund right-back Piszczek.
Ajax try and work the ball through to Boerrigter up front by he is deemed to be in an offside position inside the Dortmund half, and the home side are awarded a free-kick.
Kuba does well to get past Blind for Dortmund, but his dangerous cross is headed away from danger, with Lewandowski preparing to head an effort at goal!
Blind has it in the left-back position for Ajax and they look happy to play with the ball at the back for the time being, as both sides settle in to this match.
And we are underway here in Dortmund! The home side attacking down the right in the first minute.
Marco Reus, Dortmund's recent signing from Borussia Monchengladbach, is making his first appearance in the Champions League this evening, and will no doubt want to make an impression during this milestone appearance.
The teams are in the tunnel here, and we are just a few minutes from getting underway.
That's a really nice touch from Borussia Dortmund. They have just played the Liverpool anthem, You'll Never Walk Alone, over their tannoy system, and lots of the fans inside the Sigdal Iduna Park sang along. The footballing world uniting once more in the face of adversity, after the recent findings emerged surrounding the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.
Ajax (4-3-3): Vermeer; Van Rhijn, Alderweireld, Moisander, Blind; De Jong, Eriksen, Poulsen; Sana, Babel, Boerrigter
Borussia Dortmund (4-2-3-1): Weidenfeller; Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer; Gundogan, Kehl; Kuba, Gotze, Reus; Lewandowski
Without further ado, here are the starting XIs:
Ajax, however, are in worse shape, with Frank De Boer without the likes of Nicolai Boilesen, Eyong Enoh and Kolbeinn Sigthorsson for this trip.
Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp comes into the match boasting a fully fit squad, having been boosted by the return to full training of the Germany international, Sven Bender, following his hernia operation.
It's been billed as the 'Battle of the Wonderkids', as Dortmund's Mario Gotze lines up against Ajax's Christian Eriksen, but let me make one thing clear, both sides have plenty of other talented players at their disposal.
My name is Charlie Scott and I will be bringing you comprehensive updates from the game as it unfolds at Sigdal Iduna Park.
Good evening one and all, and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the Champions League Group D fixture between two former winners of the competition, Borussia Dortmund and Ajax.
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