Dortmund qualifies from CL group after draw with Lazio

DORTMUND, Germany (AP) — Borussia Dortmund qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League despite being held to a 1-1 draw with Lazio after a disputed penalty call gave the Italian club an equalizer.

Dortmund’s advancement was overshadowed by an injury to striker and top scorer Erling Haaland. The Norwegian 20-year-old won’t play until early January because of a muscle tear, coach Lucien Favre told broadcaster Sky just before kickoff. Worse followed when defender Mats Hummels hurt his left ankle when challenged by Lazio forward Ciro Immobile.

After a quiet first half as Lazio sat deep, Dortmund opened the scoring in the 44th minute with an incisive move. Lazio goalkeeper Pepe Reina gave the ball away with a long kick into midfield and Dortmund instantly strung together a four-pass move which ended with Raphael Guerreiro scoring off Thorgan Hazard’s pass.

The Portuguese wing-back showed good awareness to beat his own teammate Marco Reus to the through ball, spotting that Reus was offside.

Lazio leveled the game with a penalty in the 67th. Left-back Nico Schulz beat Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to the ball before Milinkovic-Savic ran into him. The referee gave the penalty even though Milinkovic-Savic appeared to be jumping over Schulz’s leg before there was any contact. Immobile had no problem hitting the spot kick past goalkeeper Roman Bürki.

Dortmund Lucien Favre said it was “clearly” not a penalty.

“At the end there’s a result of 1-1 and it isn’t the truth,” he said, adding with a smile: “But we have qualified and (Lazio) have not qualified.”

Schulz nearly earned immediate redemption when the ball fell to him a minute after Immobile scored, but he skewed his shot wide of the far post. Manuel Akanji missed the target for Dortmund from a good position later on. Bürki dived at full stretch to palm away a low shot from Immobile, and did it again in stoppage time to tip an Andreas Pereira free kick wide.

Brugge beat Zenit St. Petersburg 3-0 in the other game in Group F. Lazio hosts Brugge next week in a game where the winner will qualify, and Lazio will go through in the event of a draw. A win for Dortmund at Zenit would guarantee first place in the group.

After Immobile trod on Hummels’ ankle in stoppage time, Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said the club hoped that it was merely a knock to the defender’s ankle without any damage to ligaments, and that Hummels could potentially play against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga on Sunday.

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