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Borussia Dortmund 4 Qabala 0: Tuchel´s side cruise into round of 32

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 5 Nov 2015

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Borussia Dortmund secured their place in the Europa League last 32 with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Qabala at Signal Iduna Park.

With Krasnodar defeating PAOK 2-1 in Group C’s other fixture on Thursday, three points were enough to book Thomas Tuchel’s side a spot in the knockout stages.

Dortmund were relentless from the outset and took the lead through Marco Reus in the 28th minute, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also getting the better of the evidently nervous Qabala goalkeeper Dawid Pietrzkiewicz on the stroke of half-time.

Reus was withdrawn during the interval, but Dortmund continued to threaten and Qabala striker Sergei Zenjov put through his own net midway through the second period.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan – who hit the post earlier in the game – produced an emphatic finish to put Dortmund 4-0 up before rattling the upright again 15 minutes from time. Tuchel’s men – unbeaten in eight European matches under the 42-year-old – can now focus on finishing on top of the pool.

Dortmund controlled the early exchanges and Pietrzkiewicz almost gifted the home side a goal in the 11th minute, only for Mkhitaryan to let him off the hook by volleying over from his poor clearance.

The Qabala keeper was more assured five minutes later when he stayed big to stop Aubameyang netting the opener following a sprint down the right, with Gonzalo Castro sending the follow-up wide.

After almost fumbling a deflected Matthias Ginter strike into his own net, Pietrzkiewicz was finally beaten after 28 minutes when Reus fired a low shot past him from the edge of the box – making it 31 successive games in which Dortmund have scored. 

The hosts grew in confidence and a ferocious 20-yard drive from Aubameyang flew narrowly wide before a last-ditch block from Rafael stopped Reus – who pulled up with a groin issue after celebrating his goal – from scoring his second nine minutes prior to the interval.

Pietrzkiewicz produced a great save to keep out Mkhitaryan in the final minute of the half, but moments later he let Aubameyang’s stabbed effort from the left-hand side of the box slip past him as Tuchel’s side doubled their advantage.

Adnan Januzaj replaced Reus at the interval, but Dortmund remained dangerous, with Mkhitaryan steering Marcel Schmelzer’s low cross onto the upright.

Pietrzkiewicz went some way to redeeming himself midway through the second half when he thwarted Januzaj, but from the resultant corner Zenjov headed the ball into his own net.

Mkhitaryan got in on the act 20 minutes from time, slamming home from 18 yards after being fed by Lukasz Piszczek.

The Armenia international came close to adding a fifth, but his 74th-minute strike crashed off the post before rebounding off the Qabala keeper and going wide.

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