Borussia Dortmund are off to the UEFA Champions League final after a thrilling semifinal second leg against Real Madrid saw the Germans advance 4-3 on aggregate. But if not for some missed chances early in the match, Real Madrid's winning scoreline could have been different than the 2-0 victory that sent them out.
Needing to overturn a 4-1 deficit from the first leg, Real Madrid produced several chances against the visitors from Germany. In a blistering start to the match, Real carved out opportunities for Gonzalo Higuain, Mesut Ozil and Cristiano Ronaldo in the opening 15 minutes.
All three missed, and the score remained 0-0 until the closing stages.
Real Madrid in first 80 minutes: 13 shots, 2 on goal, no goals. Last 10 minutes: 10 shots, 5 on goal, 2 goals.— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) April 30, 2013
Real eventually broke the deadlock late in the match and almost completed the unlikely comeback, but the missed opportunities turned out to be too much to overcome.
"It's a shame. Sometimes you lose—that is football," said Sergio Ramos (via BBC Sport). "In Dortmund we should have played the way we did tonight. We feel for the fans. It's a shame to have been so close but the missed chances in the first half were costly."
Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels, who escaped a red card for a handball on the edge of Dortmund's box in the second half, underlined the importance of keeping Real scoreless in the first half.
"We knew if they scored a goal in the first half, the crowd would get euphoric and loud," Hummels said (via BBC Sport). We had the game under control but with the goal the whole game changed—like the game against Malaga."
The game Hummels was talking about ended in a thrilling victory that sent the Bundesliga side into the semifinals. History almost repeated itself Tuesday night, but instead, Real Madrid will now have to watch the Champions League final from the comfort of home.