Özil goal rescues draw for Madrid against Dortmund

Özil goal rescues draw for Madrid against Dortmund

MADRID - Reuters
Özil goal rescues draw for Madrid against Dortmund

Real Madrid attacker Mesut Özil (R) celebrates after scoring a dramatic freekick goal that salvaged a 2-2 draw against German champion Dortmund. AP photo

A moment of magic from Mesut Özil late in the game salvaged a 2-2 draw for Real Madrid at home to Borussia Dortmund on Nov. 6 and boosted its chances of reaching the Champions League knockout round as the Group D winners.

Cristiano Ronaldo usually takes the free kicks for Real but left Özil to curl a sweet shot into the net off a post in the 89th minute, with Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller slow to react, and put Jose Mourinho’s side level for the second time.

Özil’s goal against a side full of his Germany teammates denied Dortmund an impressive double that would have put the team in pole position to top the group after it beat Mourinho’s expensively assembled side 2-1 in Germany last month.

Marco Reus volleyed the German champions ahead in the 28th minute before Pepe equalized with a header six minutes later and Real’s Alvaro Arbeloa poked the ball into his own net on the stroke of halftime.

Real enjoyed lots of possession but created few chances and Dortmund’s playing on the break almost earned the team another memorable victory.

Dortmund leads the group on eight points, with Real second on seven ahead of Ajax (four) and Manchester City (two) following their 2-2 draw.

Mourinho said he did not care whether they finished first or second in the group.

“If we finish second it is a problem for the team that finishes first in another group because they don’t expect to get someone like us,” he said.

Borussia Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp said he the pride he felt in his team’s performance was tinged with sadness of the late equalizer.

“We had direct qualification in our hands,” he said. “But we have two games left. We’re pleased with a draw.”