DORTMUND, Germany (AP) — Donyell Malen scored the winner as injury-hit Borussia Dortmund beat Sporting Lisbon 1-0 on Tuesday to strengthen its bid to qualify from its Champions League group.
Dortmund began the game without star striker Erling Haaland, who watched from the stands with a muscle problem, and other injured players including defensive midfielder Emre Can and American forward Gio Reyna.
Dortmund was boosted by the return of captain Marco Reus, back in action after his own injury, but that was almost immediately canceled out when midfielder Mahmoud Dahoud limped off in the fourth minute with what coach Marco Rose said was a suspected knee ligament injury after colliding with an opponent.
Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham became the youngest player with 10 Champions League starts at the age of 18 years, 91 days. The England midfielder marked the occasion with a fine through ball for Malen to score in the 37th minute with a well-placed shot into the far corner. It was the Dutch forward’s first goal since joining Dortmund in the offseason.
Without Haaland, Dortmund lacked coordination in attack, with three goals ruled out for offside amid seven total offsides for the German club.
The win took Dortmund level on six points with Group C leader Ajax after both teams won their opening two games. Ajax beat Besiktas of Turkey 2-0 earlier Tuesday.
It was the first time in nine games Dortmund had not conceded a goal this season, the only other occasion coming against a third-tier club in the German Cup last month. The Champions League has been a point of stability in a turbulent season for Dortmund, which has conceded 12 goals in six Bundesliga games under new coach Rose and has relied heavily on seven goals from Haaland.
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