In a result that looked downright impossible with just a few ticks of the clock remaining, Borussia Dortmund have advanced to the semifinals of the Champions League with a stunning 3-2 win over Malaga.
The teams entered Tuesday's second leg tied zero apiece on aggregate, and after a goal from substitute Eliseu, who appeared to be offsides, put the Spanish side in front, 2-1, in the 82nd minute, all hope looked lost for the favorites.
Because this match was being played at Signal Iduna Park, that meant Malaga had the advantage on away goals, and it would take an outright victory in regular time for Dortmund to advance.
As the clock began to tick away, and the Germans in all-out attack mode, the chances of that happening slowly dwindled from unlikely to implausible and then in a heartbeat back to incredible.
In the 91st minute, mayhem turned into a goal. A free kick was taken into a crowded area in the box, where Demichelis misjudged it, and after a scramble the ball rolled to Marco Reus, who tapped it in.
Suddenly, there was hope.
Just moments later, Robert Lewandowski swung in a cross, where it appeared Borussia were sitting offsides, and after yet another ping-pong like scramble of the ball, it broke to Felipe Santana, who tapped in the game-winner.
There is certainly going to be talk about the officials missing two crucial offsides calls—which led to goals for both clubs in this one. Especially given the Twitter outburst from Malaga president Sheikh Abdullah Al Thani following Dortmund's goal.
Thank you very much for the team you have been Champions On the pitchI'm sorry to go out this way injustice and racism— Abdullah N Al Thani (@ANAALThani) April 9, 2013
I hope to open a thorough investigation UEFA regarding the Spanish club out this wayWhich does not affect the spirit of sport— Abdullah N Al Thani (@ANAALThani) April 9, 2013
This is not football, but racism and clear of all— Abdullah N Al Thani (@ANAALThani) April 9, 2013
Malaga are banned from playing in the European competition for the next four years after failing to meet existing payments, with this Champions League campaign being their last until the 2016-17 season (according to ESPN).
How far will Dortmund advance?
Thus Al Thani's frustration at the situation is understandable, but to go on and suggest racism and cry foul at UEFA won't do anything good at all. If anything, it will take the story away from the story that should be remembered from this one—the dramatic, unbelievable, scintillating finish that will go down in Champions League lore and won't soon be forgotten.