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Dortmund hold Real Madrid to late draw in four-goal thriller
FIFA 17 was released today to the eager anticipation of millions of football fans across the globe, both young and old. Borussia Dortmund star Marco Reus was the cover boy for the game, thereby meaning that the Westfalenstadion was the pre-set background for the game’s homescreen and advertisements.
While the graphics are more vivid and lifelike than ever before, the gameplay still can’t quite communicate the intensity and passion of a match-day experience at the Westfalenstadion.
Heavyweight clashes in the Champions League are often cagey, defensively-oriented affairs by nature of being such high-stakes games, but Dortmund’s draw with Real Madrid on Tuesday night was another of the two clubs’ electrifying encounters.
The European giants have notched nineteen in their previous six meetings and the thriller added four more goals to that tally, with sparks flying every which way as the two sides did battle in the Champions League group stages.
Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane nearly ended Madrid’s five-game unbeaten streak in Dortmund, only for Andre Schürrle’s late equalizer to pull Die Schwarzgelben level with four minutes left on the clock.
The home side fed off of the raucous crowd at the Westfalenstadion, peppering Madrid’s goal with twenty shots over the course of the ninety minutes. Thomas Tuchel’s men had burst off the blocks pbut were caught napping early on by Madrid in a perfectly executed counter-attack.
The Galacticos went marauding forward on sweeping breakaway, which ended with Ronaldo driving Gareth Bale’s deflected back-heel into the back of the net from close range.
Zinedine Zidane’s men withstood a monsoon of attacks, but Keylor Navas’ howler gifted Dortmund an equalizer right on the brink of the half. The goalkeeper punched Raphael Guerreiro’s dipping, long-range free-kick straight into his own defender and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was on hand to tap home the rebound.
However, Ronaldo unstuck Dortmund’s defense for a second time with a deep, far-post cross from a short corner on the other side of the half. Karim Benzema hurled himself towards the post to make contact with the ball and his shot bounced off both the post and crossbar before falling in front of the open net for Raphael Varane to poke home.
Dortmund responded with another wave of attacks and substitute Christian Pulisic was the difference maker from the bench, the pace of the teenage American winger wreaking havoc in Madrid’s back line.
Pulisic tested Navas with a low, arrowed effort from the right and set up Schürrle’s winner four minutes from time. The seventeen-year-old jinxed his was down the right wing and clipped a lovely little cross towards the far post, where the ball fell to Schurrle, who emphatically rifled a shot into the top corner.
There were lingering feelings of regret for both teams given the sheer volume of chances they had, but coming off the back of thoroughly draws against Villarreal and Las Palmas earlier in the week, Madrid manager Zidane was satisfied with a point.
“In the game against Las Palmas we lacked concentration, but not today,” he said, per Madrid’s official website. “Today we did what we needed to from minute one until minute ninety. We struggled a bit in the first half with their pressure, but that’s normal at this ground.”