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Dortmund drama keeps Champions League hope alive

updated 7:00 PM EDT, Tue April 9, 2013
Dortmund's players celebrate their famous 3-2 victory over Malaga and will now look forward to the semifinals where it could be joined by fellow German club Bayern Munich. Dortmund's players celebrate their famous 3-2 victory over Malaga and will now look forward to the semifinals where it could be joined by fellow German club Bayern Munich.
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Drama at the death
Malaga's moment
Twist in the tale
Party time
Down and out
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Borussia Dortmund scored twice in stoppage time to secure a 3-2 win over Malaga
  • German side trailed 2-1 after 90 minutes before stunning late show
  • Galatasaray claims 3-2 win over Real Madrid in Istanbul
  • Spanish side prevails 5-3 on aggregate with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring twice

(CNN) -- In the playgrounds across Dortmund they will be re-enacting this night for years to come.

Each child will take it in turns to take on the role of Felipe Santana, another will pretend to follow in the footsteps of Marco Reus, while others will fight it out to pull on the imaginary shirt of Robert Lewandowski.

It is nights like these which inspire not only those inside the stadium, but the next generation of footballers. It's what makes the intangible, tangible.

Trailing 2-1 to Malaga going into stoppage time in Tuesday's Champions League quarterfinal second leg, the Dortmund dream lay in tatters.

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This youthful and vibrant side, a team which has won admirers from across the globe, appeared to have choked when it was supposed to underline its status as one of the most exciting sides in Europe.

But this is football -- a sport which still boasts the capacity to leave even the most seasoned of spectators transfixed in a state of disbelief.

With the clock ticking down and all hope abating, Dortmund produced one of the most astonishing European comebacks in recent years.

Two goals in added time broke Spanish hearts and propelled Jurgen Klopp's side into the semifinals in a manner befitting of its own film script.

This was Hollywood.

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The German side, which had held Malaga to a goalless draw in the first leg, was expected to reach the semifinal with ease and qualify for the last four for the first time since 1998.

It was not difficult to see why Dortmund was considered such a strong favourite -- it plays a brand of football which reawakens the youthful spirit in even the most weary of souls.

In its yellow and black shirts, the players buzz and swarm around like bees, pushing, pressing and pestering.

But while Dortmund dominated, it failed to make that crucial incision.

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Instead, it was Malaga which made the first move, giving the game a twist most did not expect to witness.

Joaquin's fierce strike found the corner and temporarily silenced the raucous crowd packed inside the stadium.

But that goal, which arrived after 25 minutes, only served to stir Dortmund into action.

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Suddenly Dortmund found its spark -- and what a spark.

In the end it was a moment of magic which lit up the Dortmund sky as the home side drew level with a sublime demonstration of how to unlock a defense.

This was not simply a "goal". No, this was a thing of sheer beauty from the moment the ball found its way to Marco Reus until it hit the back of the net; this was football from a different planet.

Reus, the precociously talented playmaker, unfurled a flick of such cunning that it split the Malaga defense and allowed Robert Lewandowski to clip the ball over the goalkeeper and fire home. It was beautiful.

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If Barcelona had scored a goal of similar fashion then the world would have stopped and applauded -- Dortmund are not there yet, but this team is showing a potential which should excite those who embrace such pure football.

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But while its attacking prowess was clear to see, the backdoor always appeared ajar for a Malaga side determined to make light of its financial troubles and secure a last four berth.

Joaquin twice failed to scored with headers when well placed, but those misses appeared not to matter when Eliseu touched home Julio Baptista's shot with eight minutes remaining.

That goal, which was converted from an offside position, left the home supporters crushed.

But Dortmund refused to be denied and with the game drifting into the 91st minute, Reus lashed home from close range to level the game at 2-2 and leave his side needing one more goal.

With just a couple of minutes left to play, Malaga needed only to hold out and preserve the 2-2 scoreline to progress.

But as the yellow and black shirts poured forward, the Malaga defense buckled.

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From a seemingly hopeless position, the ball was lumped into the penalty area before falling at the feet of Santana just a yard from goal.

He was offside -- earlier in the move there were four Dortmund players offside -- but that didn't stop him.

The Brazilian smashed the ball home, the assistant referee's flag didn't go up, the referee didn't blow. The goal stood as Malaga fell. Dortmund had triumphed.

"There is one very disappointed team in this moment and one lucky team," Klopp told Sky Sports.

"It's unbelievable. It was our worst game in the Champions League this season and not our best football.

"If we play like tonight we won't win the Champions League, but we have reached our target of the semifinal."

Malaga, which was making its debut in the competition, was left shell shocked as it suffered a heartbreaking exit.

The first edition of Eric Castel was published in 1979 and focused on the Barcelona player meeting a group of young fans known as the "Pablitos". The second edition, entitled "Retur-Match" or "Second-Leg" was released later the same year.
The first edition of Eric Castel was published in 1979 and focused on the Barcelona player meeting a group of young fans known as the "Pablitos". The second edition, entitled "Retur-Match" or "Second-Leg" was released later the same year.
A star is born
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Eric Castel: Barelona and PSG\'s comic book hero Eric Castel: Barelona and PSG's comic book hero
New Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio talks to Alfred N'Diaye before the kickoff against Chelsea. New Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio talks to Alfred N'Diaye before the kickoff against Chelsea.
Losing debut for Di Canio
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Losing debut for Di Canio Losing debut for Di Canio
Gareth Bale was kept quiet for most of the contest by a hardworking and determined Basel side during the first leg of the Europa League quarterfinal tie Thursday. Gareth Bale was kept quiet for most of the contest by a hardworking and determined Basel side during the first leg of the Europa League quarterfinal tie Thursday.
Bale bullied
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Goals galore in Europa League Goals galore in Europa League

"We were four minutes away from the semis," striker Roque Santa Cruz told Sky Sports.

"There is huge disappointment in the dressing room. We had the tie in our hands."

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In the night's other game, Real Madrid progressed to the final four, despite suffering a 3-2 defeat in Turkey against Galatasaray.

Leading 3-0 from the first leg, Cristiano Ronaldo's early strike appeared to kill off any hope the home side might have had of causing an upset.

But Fatih Terim's men produced an inspired performance with goals from Emmanuel Eboue, Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba firing it into a 3-1 lead on the night.

Ronaldo grabbed a late second, his 48th goal in 47 games this season, to finally end the fightback.

Real finished with 10-men after Alvaro Arbeloa was sent off.

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"I wasn't getting nervous because I have no time for it," Real boss Jose Mourinho told Sky Sports.

"I am on the bench so I have no time to think or to feel it, they are strong, strong mentally.

"They don't play against 11, they play 50,000 against 11 and it was hard for us.

"We are there, in the semifinals and that is what that matters.

"Today is the kind of match where you have everything to lose and nothing to win.

"People think we are already in the semifinal and players that that feeling from the outside. I felt the team was ready to work hard and had the motivation to reach Wembley in the final.

"I don't know who we will play in the semifinal, it will be against a great team, that's for sure and we need to play the semifinal and enjoy it."

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