Marcel Schmelzer critical of 'wild' Dortmund performance against Apoel
Borussia Dortmund captain Marcel Schmelzer described his team's second-half performance as "wild" following Tuesday's 1-1 draw away to Apoel Nicosia that put the team's chances to progress to the Champions League's round of 16 in jeopardy.
"We're rightfully disappointed. It was our aim to win," Schmelzer told Sky after the game. "The first half was OK but in the second half it was just wild. We allowed too many unnecessary counter-attacks and did not create any chances. We had the biggest chance in the last minute, with a bit of luck we'll even win the game."
After Dortmund had lost the first two games in Champions League Group H against Real Madrid and Tottenham, they were desperate to gain ground in the table against Apoel. However, the Black and Yellows remain six points behind both Los Blancos and the North Londoners, who drew 1-1 at the Bernabeu on Tuesday night.
BVB looked to bounce back from a 3-2 defeat at home to Leipzig in the Bundesliga on Saturday night, but could not create any attacking threat against a well-organised Cypriot team that took the lead in the 62nd, punishing BVB goalkeeper Roman Burki for a misplaced pass.
Defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos equalised five minutes later, heading Mario Gotze's cross into the box after a corner kick over the line.
But Dortmund failed to create notable opportunities until Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit the crossbar with a headed shot in the final seconds of injury time and Marc Bartra could not keep the rebound on target.
Schmelzer was critical of his team's lack of patience after the match, saying: "We did not exude calmness but headlessly ran forward on all positions. This mustn't happen -- especially in the Champions League, where this will get punished. We have to be more patient and act with more calm and secure our attacks better."
The left-back did refrain from harping on his goalkeeper, whose error saw his team fall behind, saying: "Roman has a lot of quality with the ball at his feet. On a better pitch, the ball would have arrived. The mishap isn't a problem for him.
"The biggest problem was that we didn't create any chances. We have to show a reaction in the reverse fixture -- and also in the Bundesliga on Saturday."
Dortmund coach Peter Bosz was similarly disappointed as his captain, saying that after the team's fast start failed to produce a goal, they struggled to create chances as the game wore on.
Bosz told Sky: "We didn't move the ball out of the back quickly enough. We wanted to improve that in the second half but we failed.
"In the end, we have to be lucky that we got a draw. In such a game it is important to score the first goal. We had the chance to do that in the first half but all our shots were off target. We have to beat Nicosia at home and then see what we can do from there."
Sporting director Michael Zorc, however, had little hopes that Dortmund can come from behind to secure a top two finish in Group H. He said: "I'm not a dreamer but a realist. In the next weeks it'll be about securing third place [in the Group]."
The Ruhr side have now only won one of their last four games in all competitions. On Saturday they will travel to Frankfurt, looking to maintain their two-point lead in the Bundesliga.
Stefan Buczko covers Borussia Dortmund for ESPN FC. Twitter: @StefanBuczko.