(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Published: Wed 29 Nov 2023, 5:53 PM
Borussia Dortmund had proved the doubters wrong by securing qualification from a Champions League group of heavy hitters, head coach Edin Terzic said, after his side won 3-1 at AC Milan on Tuesday.
Drawn alongside Paris St-Germain, Newcastle United and Milan, Dortmund got off to a woeful start in their campaign by taking just a point from their opening two matches, but then won three games straight to ensure a top-two finish in Group F.
"We all remember that evening after the draw when they reported about the 'Group of Death,'" Terzic told reporters.
"We also remember the first game in Paris when everyone told us after the defeat now it's going to be difficult.
"And then after the 0-0 at home against Milan, they said, yes, now it's over. And then we went there as leaders in this group," he added.
Terzic said injury issues made things difficult ahead of the Milan game.
"We didn't talk about it like that before the game, but you got a message almost every 30 minutes, every 60 minutes," he added.
"The (doctor) came with new information, who can make the squad, who can't, who can play a half and who can't... it wasn't easy and yet the lads fought their way through it today."
The three other teams remain in contention for a spot in the knockout rounds going into the final round of fixtures on Dec. 13, with Dortmund hosting PSG and Milan visiting Newcastle.
Meanwhile, Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe hit out at the decision to award Paris Saint-Germain a last-gasp penalty that denied his team a Champions League win over the French club on Tuesday.
The Premier League side were leading 1-0 at the Parc des Princes thanks to Alexander Isak's 25th-minute goal, until Polish referee Szymon Marciniak awarded PSG a penalty deep in injury time following a VAR check for a handball by Tino Livramento.
The award appeared harsh, and Kylian Mbappe converted the spot-kick to earn PSG a 1-1 draw that changes the outlook for both clubs going into the final round of matches in Group F.
"In my opinion, it wasn't the right decision," insisted Howe as he spoke to reporters after the game.
A win would have taken Newcastle into their final group game at home to AC Milan next month with their fate in their own hands in terms of securing qualification for the last 16.
Instead, the draw leaves them in third place, and PSG will join the already-qualified Borussia Dortmund in going through if they win their last game in Germany.
Newcastle must beat Milan at St James' Park and also hope for a slip-up by PSG on the final matchday.
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