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Dortmund survive German Cup scare

August 22, 2018

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BERLIN: Axel Witsel scored a dramatic equaliser on his debut and Marco Reus got the late winner as Borussia Dortmund beat Greuther Fuerth 2-1 in the German Cup on Monday.

Dortmund was on the verge of a first-round exit at the hands of the second-division club before Belgium midfielder Witsel — who had come on with just 15 minutes remaining — scored in the fifth minute of injury time to send the game to extra time. Reus then followed up with his own injury-time winner.

Dortmund, the 2017 champion, had failed to impress in Lucien Favre’s first competitive game in charge, and they paid the price when Sebastian Ernst scored late for Fuerth. Witsel, who joined Dortmund from Chinese side Tianjin Quanjian, was set up by Reus, who was the beneficiary of Jadon Sancho’s incisive play for the winner — after goalkeeper Roman Buerki denied Fuer­th’s Fabian Reese in a one-on-one.

Fellow Bundesliga clubs Hertha Berlin and Freiburg also progressed after edging past third division club Eintracht Braunschweig 2-1 and Cott­bus on penalties respectively.

Published in Dawn, August 22nd, 2018