Dortmund stun PSG 1-0, advance to Champions League final! Mbappé Falters

PARIS (AP) — Boisterous cheers from Borussia Dortmund’s traveling fans echoed through the Parc des Princes as their beloved team secured a historic 1-0 victory (2-0 on aggregate) over Paris Saint Germainwho punch their ticket to the Champions League final at Wembley Stadium on June 1.

For star-studded PSG and their talismanic striker Kylian MbappéIt was a night of bitter disappointment as the French giants’ insatiable pursuit of Champions League glory came unfulfilled once again.

Dortmund’s veteran defender Mats Hummels delivered the decisive blow in the 50th minute.

The 34-year-old rose highest to meet Julian Brandt’s inviting corner from the left wing and headed home powerfully, leaving PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma on the spot.

Hummels’ strike was just reward for Dortmund’s composed and disciplined display. Led by the indomitable Emre Can in midfield, Edin Terzić’s side successfully contained the threat posed by Mbappé and his team-mates, limiting PSG’s opportunities in the final third.

But the home side refused to go down without a fight and launched a late onslaught in a bid to equalise.

Mbappé came agonizingly close on two occasions, first seeing his low drive saved by the excellent Gregor Kobel, before the Dortmund goalkeeper produced a stunning one-handed save to tip the Frenchman’s deflected effort onto the crossbar.

The woodwork also denied PSG’s Vitinho, whose thunderous strike from distance caused the Parc des Princes crowd to gasp in disbelief as the ball fired back off the underside of the bar.

Scenes of unbridled joy erupted between the Dortmund players and their traveling supporters when the final whistle blew. Donning T-shirts emblazoned with ‘London 24’ – a reference to their date with destiny at Wembley – they reveled in a momentous triumph.

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For Mbappé, however, the night marked a bittersweet farewell to the Champions League in PSG colours.

Widely expected to leave the club at the end of the season, likely to join Real Madrid, the 24-year-old cut a dejected figure as he trudged off the pitch hoping to deliver a PSG girl. Champions League crown dashed once more.

“Extremely proud. I am very happy,» beamed Dortmund coach Terzić. «We beat a team like PSG twice and kept a clean sheet again. We started really well and kept them away from the goal.»

Dortmund, winners of the 1997 competition, will face either Real Madrid or Bayern Munich in the final as they look to add a second Champions League trophy to their illustrious history.

«Indescribable. After more than 10 years I’m back in the final with Borussia,» said Marco Reus, Dortmund’s long-serving midfielder who will leave the club at the end of this season.

It has been another season ending in heartbreak for PSG and their Qatari owners as their relentless pursuit of European glory continues to elude them despite the huge sums of money invested in building a star-studded squad.

«Efficiency, that’s what we lacked,» PSG captain Marquinhos fumed. «We should have defended better. They scored from a corner and a counter-attack (in the first game). We created more chances, but they won both games.»

dortmund stuns psg into champions league final

Moments before Hummels’ decisive header, PSG had a golden opportunity to seize the initiative when Gonçalo Ramos flicked on Mbappé’s encouraging cross from the left, only for Warren Zïre-Emery to inexplicably hit the post from point-blank range.

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It was a costly mistake that ultimately proved decisive as Dortmund’s well-rounded defensive unit led by the imperious Hummels and Niklas Sül successfully nullified the threat posed by Mbappé and Ousmane Dembélé.

The French duo, so often PSG’s talismanic match-winners, were largely peripheral figures, deprived of space and time on the ball by Dortmund’s disciplined pressing and positional discipline.

As the celebrations continued on the Parc des Princes turf, a dejected Mbappé cut a lonely figure and crawled off the pitch in a PSG shirt for the last time in a Champions League game, his future almost certainly elsewhere.

For PSG and their ambitious owners, the quest for European supremacy must continue, but for Dortmund, a trip to Wembley beckons, where they will have the opportunity to write their names in the annals of Champions League history.

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