Wolfsberg - Borussia Dortmund have one foot in the door of the UEFA Europa League play-offs after recording a priceless 1-0 win away to Wolfsberger AC in the first leg of their third-qualifying round tie on Thursday.
Although die Schwarz-Gelben conceded needless chances after Jonas Hofmann had fired them into a deserved first-half lead, Thomas Tuchel's side will feel confident of finishing the job on home soil.
Black and Yellow swarm
The signs were there for the Austrian Bundesliga outfit when Aubameyang flashed a header wide inside two minutes. Wolfsberg were on the back foot from thereon in, Dortmund’s measured approach giving the 5,000 or so travelling fans plenty to cheer in a thoroughly one-sided start to proceedings at the Lavanttal-Arena
The effervescent Hofmann had already gone close to breaking the deadlock when Ilkay Gündogan and Aubameyang combined to send Henrikh Mkhitaryan scampering in behind Wolfsberg’s flat back four in the 16th minute. The Armenian could have gone for goal himself, but selflessly squared for Hofmann to stroke home from close range.
The second half followed a similar pattern, with Dortmund intent on putting the contest to bed ahead of next week's second leg at the Signal Iduna Park. Hofmann warmed the palms of home goalkeeper Alexander Kofler, before Aubameyang sent another header wide of the post.
Perhaps guilty of becoming a shade complacent, Dortmund were almost pegged back as Mkhitaryan cleared off the line from susbtitute Tadej Trdina. The BVB playmaker then had a goal ruled out for offside three minutes later, but it was Wolfsberg who ended the stronger with Dortmund debutant Roman Bürki denying Trdina late on.
Wolfsberger: Kofler - Berger, Sollbauer, Hüttenbrenner, Palla - Standfest (Tschernegg 90') - Zündel, Seidl, Putsche (Trdina 70'), Wernitznig (Jacobo 81') - Silvio
Dortmund: Bürki - Pisczcek, Hummels, Sokratis, Schmelzer - Weigl (Castro 66'), Gündogan - Hofmann (Kagawa 66'), Mkhitaryan, Reus (Kampl 79') - Aubameyang
Goals: 0-1 (Hofmann 16')