UCL: Record-breaking Mats Hummels sends Dortmund into final over PSG

UCL: Record-breaking Mats Hummels sends Dortmund into final over PSG

Mats Hummels scored the all-important goal for Borussia Dortmund in their 1-0 win over Paris Saint-Germain in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League semifinal clash at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday night.

The Bundesliga outfit, which won the first leg courtesy of a strike from Germany international Niclas Fullkrug, secured a 2-0 win on aggregate to knockout PSG and advance to their third Champions League final and their first since the 2012–13 season.

Hummels headed home a corner kick from Julian Brandt in the 50th minute, beating Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma to put Dortmund 1-0 ahead and make history by becoming the oldest German player to score in a Champions League knockout match at 35 years and 143 days.

The Dortmund defender’s goal also saw him become the third oldest player to score a Champions League semi-final goal, after Ryan Giggs in 2010-11 (37y 148d) and Edin Dzeko last season (37y 54d).

“I’ve scored far too few Champions League goals in my career, just five. Now is a good time to add to that number,” Hummels said. “Since the second match of the group stage, we’ve believed that we can prevail in every game – and I don’t see why we shouldn’t win at Wembley now.

“We remained active today and were able to take so much pace out of the game and atmosphere out of the stadium. That was our recipe for success today.”

PSG, who were wasteful over the two legs, were somewhat unlucky as well, as they were denied by the woodwork six times in this fixture, including four times at the Parc des Princes.

The French champions entered the game knowing a two-goal win would send them to the final, but they looked uninspired in the first half as Dortmund were the ones who came close to opening the scoring, but Karim Adeyemi’s effort was denied by Donnarumma.

The second half started differently for PSG, but as they pushed for an opener, French teenager Warren Zaire-Emery couldn’t break the deadlock as his volley crashed off the post in the 47th minute. However, three minutes later, the worst happened for the hosts, who fell to a Hummels header to double Dortmund’s aggregate lead.

The Ligue 1 champions looked undeterred as they continued searching for their first goal in the fixture, but it never came, as this time it was Portuguese full-back Nuno Mendes ferocious volley that was repelled by the woodwork.

Hummels got another for Dortmund in the 77th minute, but his rebounded volley didn’t count as he was ruled offside. This provided a sigh of relief for PSG, who almost leveled proceedings through talismanic forward Kylian Mbappe, but his effort was parried away by Swiss shotstopper Gregor Kobel.

Mbappe was in the thick of things once again, but the ball just didn’t want to go in for PSG as his half-volley in the 86th minute deflected onto the crossbar. Portuguese midfielder Vitinha also suffered the same fate two minutes later, as his fiercely struck effort, which had beaten Kobel, was topped by the woodwork.

Dortmund, who are the 1997 winners of the competition, held on for the victory to reach their first final in 11 years, which also happened to be at Wembley Stadium when they lost to German rivals Bayern Munich.

“It’s almost surreal,” Dortmund coach Edin Terzić said. “I think in the grand scheme of things we deserved to reach the final. We came here to confront a team that has so many qualities. It’s thanks to team work, granted a little bit of luck too. I’m very proud of my team, my staff, and the entire club.”

Dortmund will not have to wait long to see their opponent for the June 1st final at Wembley. They will face either Spanish giants Real Madrid or get set for an all-German affair against Bayern, with the two teams set for the second leg of their semifinal encounter on Wednesday at the Santiago Bernabeu.

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