When Felipe Santana scored in the 93rd minute to send Borussia Dortmund into the Champions League semi-finals at Malaga’s expense, it marked the completion of a stunning comeback that catapulted the Germans back into the European elite.
In a remarkable finale, the 1997 European Champions booked their first last-four berth in 15 years courtesy of two goals in second half stoppage time to edge out Malaga 3-2 on aggregate after a goalless first leg in Spain.
While Santana’s goal was arguably well offside, their last-gasp victory was not only reminiscent of the best German soccer comebacks but also fuelled by luck, coach Juergen Klopp said. By the time they turned the tie on its head, hundreds of Borussia spectators had already left the stadium thinking their team was out of the competition.
“We have to accept that we could have been eliminated but we were lucky,” Klopp told reporters.
“We played our worst Champions League game, that has to be clearly said. The team really wanted to advance and that led to us playing without our usual light touch.”
The Germans, who are the only unbeaten team remaining in the competition this season, saw Malaga take a 25th minute lead but bounced back with a Robert Lewandowski strike before squandering a host of chances to score again.