LISBON, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Borussia Dortmund were left licking their wounds after wasting several chances in a frustrating 1-0 defeat at Benfica in their Champions League last 16, first leg clash on Tuesday.
The Germans misfired throughout the game with their top scorer, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the worst offender, as he missed two one-on-ones with goalkeeper Ederson and saw his penalty saved by the Brazilian just before the hour.
Dortmund, who scored a Champions League record 21 goals in the group stage, have only themselves to blame for losing to Kostantinos Mitroglou’s 48th minute goal but Andre Schuerrle said they would bounce back in the second leg on March 8.
”I think we played better, especially in the first half, we had the better opportunities,“ said Schuerrle, who came on for Aubameyang. ”Especially with the penalty, we should have won.
“There is a return leg and we will show that we were clearly better then and go through. We were clear through on goal and things didn’t work out. Such days happen,” added the winger.
Aubameyang stepped up to take the 58th minute spot kick, having had an awful game up to that point, and sent his penalty straight at Ederson to cap a frustrating evening.
“Aubameyang is not fully fit after the African Nations Cup and his body language did not suggest that he would do better after giving away (missing) the penalty,” Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel said of the forward.
Aubameyang’s country Gabon hosted the Jan 14-Feb. 5 Nations Cup finals but went out at the group stage.
”We played an outstanding game and conceded a goal with their first shot in the second half,“ added Tuchel. ”We were so, so good. We cannot do much more than carve out these golden chances.
“It is an extremely complicated result, but I am very proud of how we played tonight. Even though I am very disappointed, I am proud of how we presented ourselves.” (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Ken Ferris)