DORTMUND, Germany, Nov 1 – Borussia Dortmund suffered a significant Champions League set-back on Wednesday when Peter Bosz’s team were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Cyprus’ APOEL.
Raphael Guerreiro’s superb early goal for Borussia was cancelled out by Mickael Pote’s second-half equaliser on a frustrating night for hosts Dortmund.
Dortmund remain winless in their four Champions League games so far and must beat Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid in back-to-back games in order to advance.
The draw leaves third-placed Dortmund and bottom side APOEL needing to bridge the five-point gap behind holders Real in order to make the last 16.
Dortmund host Group H leaders Tottenham, who reached the last 16 by beating Real 3-1 in London, in three weeks when APOEL are home to Cristiano Ronaldo’s Madrid.
Dortmund’s dire form in the last fortnight continued in what head coach Bosz had billed as a must-win game.
This was another sloppy performance in defence while their attack lacked urgency.
Star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang failed to score in his fourth match running.
Dortmund’s 5-0 German Cup, second-round, win at third-division Magdeburg last week is now their only victory in their last six games.
This was neither the result nor performance Bosz wanted ahead of Saturday’s crunch Bundesliga showdown at home to defending champions Bayern Munich.
After creating several good chances in the opening half an hour, Dortmund took the lead when Shinji Kagawa’s magic touch released Guerreiro.
The left-back timed his run perfectly to get in behind the defence and calmly slot home on 29 minutes.
Dortmund should have been further ahead but they were punished when, just as he did in the 1-1 draw in the away leg a fortnight ago, Benin international Pote scored for APOEL.
When Dortmund defender Marc Bartra lost the ball near the touchline, the visitors counter-attack quickly.
The ball fell to the burly Pote, who turned quickly in the box to power his shot past Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Burki on 51 minutes to stun the home crowd.
The 33-year-old Pote has now scored four of APOEL’s last six goals as his purple patch continues.
Late on, Aubameyang had a header pushed onto the bar by APOEL goalkeeper Nauzet Perez while at the other end Ghayas Zahid fired over the Dortmund bar.