Borussia Dortmund kicked off their domestic campaign with a relatively straightforward 2-0 victory at Chemnitzer in the DFB-Pokal first round.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opened the scoring in the 25th minute but, with less than a week to go until Dortmund’s first Bundesliga fixture against Borussia Monchengladbach, Thomas Tuchel’s side resisted the urge to overexert themselves in search of more goals.
That said, the visitors were in control for the most part and rarely looked in danger of surrendering their slender advantage.
Marco Reus and Ilkay Gundogan both came close to doubling Dortmund’s lead either side of the break, while third-tier Chemnitzer briefly threatened an equaliser late on.
But Henrikh Mkhitaryan produced a neat finish in the 82nd minute to make absolutely sure of Dortmund’s progression.
Roman Burki and Gonzalo Castro both made their first domestic outings in a strong Dortmund starting XI, but Chemnitzer started confidently and created the better early chances.
However, the hosts demonstrated a lack of quality in the final third that would come to cost them on numerous occasions – an unmarked Reagy Ofosu blasting over early on when the ball fell kindly to him at the edge of the box from a corner.
Dortmund were having to be patient as they looked to work their way into what was often a crowded Chemnitzer penalty area, but Aubameyang took his chance well when it came.
Mkhitaryan sent a teasing cross in from the left, with the Gabon international on hand to cushion a header into the back of the net.
Tim Danneberg should have done better when he found himself one-on-one with Burki soon after – his attempt to curl the ball around the advancing goalkeeper bouncing harmlessly wide of the right-hand post – before Mkhitaryan forced Kevin Kunz into a save at the other end and Reus rattled the left-hand upright with a long-range strike.
Kunz then showed great reactions to keep out a powerful Reus header five minutes from the break and was left breathing a sigh of relief when the Germany forward subsequently scooped over from a promising position.
Aubameyang lifted a tame free-kick over the wall and into the arms of Kunz early in the second half, before Gundogan forced the keeper into diving save.
But Dortmund were not firing on all cylinders, choosing instead to preserve energy for their league curtain-raiser next Saturday.
That approach looked set to haunt them when Anton Fink unleashed a powerful low drive 16 minutes from time, but Burki got down brilliantly to push behind for a corner, before Frank Loning sent a free-kick trickling wide of the left-hand post.
Mkhitaryan then wrapped up the win for Dortmund by coolly curling an effort around Kunz, before Gundogan hit the crossbar in injury time.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!