Borussia Dortmund secured their safe passage to the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 with victory over Sporting Club de Portugal.
Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Sporting Club de Portugal
Goals: 1-0 Ramos (12')
Deputising for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the lone striker's role, Adrian Ramos capped a flowing attacking move involving USMNT international Christian Pulisic to give Dortmund a deserved lead. Roman Bürki and Marc Bartra kept Sporting's Gelson Martins at bay, before Pulisic fired against the crossbar and BVB midfielder Raphael Guerreiro shot into the side-netting late in the half.
Dortmund were forced to defend for much of the second half, with Bürki once again needed to bat away a fierce strike from Martins. Thomas Tuchel rang the changes in a bid to defend his side's slender advantage and the steadying effect almost paid double as substitute Andre Schürrle forced a fine save out of Rui Patricio with a well-struck free-kick. BVB still had work to do defensively, but the hosts held firm on a night that saw their closest pursuers in Group F, Real Madrid CF, held to a 3-3 draw by Legia Warszawa.
Man of the match
Pulisic was unplayable at times, while his first touch to control a raking long ball in the build-up to Ramos' opening goal was a thing of real beauty. Make no mistake: the U.S. youngster is the real deal.
Through to the Round of 16 with room to spare, Dortmund will hope to use the win as a springboard for success domestically following a run of four Bundesliga matches without a win. Die Schwarz-Gelben travel to rock-bottom Hamburger SV on Saturday.
- Dortmund are unbeaten in this season's Champions League.Ramos scored his first goal in the competition since October 2014 and fourth overall.Tuchel's Champions League record reads three wins, one draw.
Dortmund: Bürki - Ginter, Sokratis (c), Bartra, Guerreiro - Weidl - Castro (Piszczek 69’), Götze (Rode 69’) - Pulisic, Dembele (Schürrle 46’) - Ramos
Coach: Thomas Tuchel
Sporting: Rui Patricio - Paulo Oliveira, Coates, Ruben Semdo - Schelotto, William Carvalho (c), Zeegelaar - Gelson Martins, Bruno Cesar (Adrien Silva 58’) - B. Ruiz - Castaignos (Dost 46’)
Coach: Jorge Jesus