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Nicklas Fulkrug scored as PSG beat Dortmund 1-0 in the Champions League semi-final first leg.


Nicklas Fulkrug scored, and Borussia Dortmund secured a 1-0 win over Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final on Wednesday.

Dortmund defender Nico Schlotterbeck sent a long pass over the top for Fulkrug to brilliantly control with his first touch and beat PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma with the latter in the 36th minute.

Fulkrug said, “It's not the first time this season I've tried to block the ball at the near post. This time it worked, and I'm even happier that it's in such an important game.”

The win gives Dortmund a narrow advantage before the sides play again in the second leg in Paris next Tuesday, when the French champions need to overturn the result if they are to capture Europe's biggest prize before Kylian Mbappe leaves the club.

PSG are under pressure to finally win the Champions League to justify more than a decade of huge investment from their Qatari owners.

Dortmund's win ensured qualification for next season's tournament and gave the Bundesliga five teams in the extended tournament. Dortmund are guaranteed at least fifth place.

With the famous “yellow wall” behind a goal roared on by most of the 81,365 fans in attendance, Dortmund started the busier and maintained their intensity for the entire game. The home team ran 119.7 kilometers – almost 10 more than the visitors.

Defender Lucas Hernandez was injured after trying to stop Fulkrug from scoring. It looked like Hernandez had injured his left leg.

PSG struck hardest at the start of the second half, when Mbappe hit the right post before Achraf Hakimi hit the left post.

Gregor Kobel saved Mbappe's subsequent effort and Dortmund survived the pressure.

Fulkrug missed a better chance for the German side, while Marquinhos made a crucial block to deny Julian Brandt late on.

“It would have been better if we could have made our counterattack count for the second goal at the end,” said Dortmund veteran Mats Hummels. “But now we must come to Paris.”

The audience also missed the opportunity.

Ousmane Dembele should have scored on his return to Dortmund when he blazed a shot late on, then Vitinha flashed a shot wide of the left post.

“We tried to keep the ball from them but it's difficult because they have a lot of quality,” PSG coach Luis Enrique said. “They're a great team on the ball and off the ball. In that environment today, they were great in both aspects of the game. I thought we lacked intensity in the first half, but in the second half we created clear, clear chances but we couldn't score.”

Dortmund coach Edin Terzic only made his first substitution in the 83rd minute, when he sent on veteran Marco Reus for the tired Karim Adeyemi.

Real Madrid will win the two-legged tie or play Bayern Munich June 1 in the final in London. The old rivals drew 2-2 in the first leg of their semi-final in Munich on Tuesday.

Reporting by the Associated Press.

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