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Dortmund rues missed chances in Champions League final loss

LONDON (AP) — Borussia Dortmund just can’t close the deal.

The scrappy German team missed a slew of big chances against Real Madrid in the Champions League final before losing 2-0 at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

“You have to use your chances in the final,” midfielder Emre Can said. “Unfortunately we didn’t.”

The loss comes a year after Dortmund failed to clinch the Bundesliga title on the last day of the season, and 11 years after losing to Bayern Munich 2-1 the last time they reached the Champions League title game, also at Wembley.

In 2013, Dortmund coach Edin Terzić was in the stands as a fan of the black-and-yellow.

Last year, Terzić had tears in his eyes after Dortmund missed the chance to win the Bundesliga when it was held by Mainz to 2-2.

On Saturday night, more heartbreak.

Karim Adeyemi was in alone on goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois in the 21st minute with Dortmund’s yellow-clad, flag-waving fans poised to erupt.

But the winger pushed the ball too far to his left as the 6-foot-6 Courtois used all of his length to get down and reach for the ball at the top of the area. Adeyemi got a left-footed shot off, but Dani Carvajal was there to block it.

Two minutes later, Niclas Füllkrug poked a shot past Courtois but it bounced off the right post and across the goalmouth.

Dortmund had another chance just before the half-hour mark when Adeyema’s shot was saved by Courtois. Füllkrug wasn’t able to get a clean header on the rebound.

Marcel Sabitzer forced another save from Courtois in the 41st.

“We played a great first half,” Can said.

Carvajal’s header broke the deadlock in the 74th and Vinicius Junior sealed it seven minutes from time.

Füllkrug had another good chance in the 63rd but his header was straight at Courtois, who punched it away.

The Germany forward finally did put the ball in the net with a bullet header but he was well offside and the score remained 2-0.

Füllkrug faulted himself for not converting his opportunities and said he feels particularly bad for Marco Reus, who played his final game for Dortmund. Reus is leaving Dortmund after 12 years at the club.

Reus and Mats Hummels were members of the last Dortmund team to make it this far. They lost the 2013 Champions League final to Bayern Munich.

“They told us about the game and how it felt,” Füllkrug said. “I’m very sad for them.”

Still, he’s optimistic for the future.

“We can go on very confident. We played against the biggest team — a lot of the biggest teams in Europe this Champions League season.”


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