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Dortmund can defy tough group, says Riedle

Former Borussia Dortmund forward Karl-Heinz Riedle believes his former side can reach the Champions League knockout rounds.

The 47-year-old, who scored twice in Dortmund’s 1997 European Cup Final victory over Juventus, feels the German champions can recover from last season’s first round exit and advance to the last 16, and they started in the best possible fashion with victory over Ajax on Tuesday.

Robert Lewandowski’s late goal secured all three points at the Westfalenstadion and Riedle thinks his former side can build on that victory.

“I think the match was really good. Ajax weren’t easy opponents and it was a close match,” he said.

“Dortmund didn’t show enough potency during the first half but overall it was a great performance that they can build upon.”

With Real Madrid and Manchester City the other two sides in Group D, many have already written off Juergen Klopp’s side, but ex-Germany international Riedle is of the belief Dortmund can spring a shock and qualify for the next round.

“Real and Manchester City have outstanding teams. If Dortmund put in their best performance, they have a chance against these teams,” he said.

As the reigning Bundesliga winners, much is expected of Klopp and his team this year, and Riedle believes they can again challenge big-spending Bayern Munich despite the loss of one of their star players.

“They lost an important player in Shinji Kagawa, but they found in Marco Reus an adequate replacement, who has plenty of potential,” he said.

“I think Dortmund are no worse off, and they have gained experience. The innocence of recent years has been lost and they have matured.”

Thu 20 September, 2012
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