Dortmund clean up against Ajax Amsterdam

Borussia Dortmund not only kicked off their 2012-13 Champions League campaign with a 1-0 victory over Ajax Amsterdam but Jürgen Klopp's young German side also took a big step forward in their development.

Dortmund clean up against Ajax Amsterdam
Photo: DPA

Dortmund came into the Champions League last season as motivated German champs but bowed out with just four points in last place – also missing out on the Europa League.

But Dortmund have grown up since last season and Klopp was happy with his team’s patience against the record Dutch champions in the Group D opening match.

“It was a big challenge to remain patient but not fall asleep. We had to remain calm and believe that we would score. Now we showed that we could get it done and now we can continue our work,” said Klopp, who has plenty of work ahead of him with giants such as Real Madrid and Manchester City in the group.

The Dortmund boss said the development within his team started a while ago and this was just one step in the process.

“If we had played to a scoreless then everyone would have said we continued where we ended last season,” said Klopp.

But Dortmund picked up the three points – despite not everything working as planned.

“There were some things we still need to do. But we did a lot of things really well. I am very satisfied and we just need to continue to do our thing,” said Klopp.

The coach was also impressed with his goal scorer Robert Lewandowski.

“It was a really good goal. With him we always know that we can still score. He had a couple other chances and missed but he kept his nerves,” said Klopp.

Lewandowski, who scored his second goal of the season and his second within four days, added: “It doesn’t matter how it worked, the main thing is that it worked.

“I had a chance shortly before that but missed. But I can’t think about that. A goal is a goal.”

The victory meanwhile leaves Dortmund with a strong mindset as they enter the first difficult part of the season with five competitive matches in the next 19 days.

“This win gives us a lot of confidence for the next few weeks. We know we have a lot of games coming up. But we also know we can win games,” said Marco Reus, who made his Champions League debut against Ajax.

The inclusion of the big off-season addition Reus alongside fellow offensive midfielder Mario Gotze was another step in the development.

“Those two just fit together. And we thought it would be a good chance to try them out together in this game,” said Klopp.

The experiment worked out, and the next step has been taken for Dortmund.


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British football teams allowed to skip Germany’s quarantine for Euro 2020

Germany's government announced on Tuesday it will allow England, Scotland and Wales to enter the country without quarantine to play at Euro 2020 despite a recent rise in cases linked to the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Britain.

British football teams allowed to skip Germany's quarantine for Euro 2020
One of the venues for Euro 2020 is in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe

The three teams could potentially reach the quarter-final held in Munich on July 2nd.

If that were the case, they would be exempt from the rule that travellers from the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland must currently observe a 14-day isolation period due to the virus strain of concern – Delta – first identified in India.

“The people accredited for the European football Championship are exempt from the quarantine obligation, even after arriving from an area impacted by a variant” Berlin said in a statement.

“This exemption concerns all the people who have been accredited by the organising committee for the preparation, participation, the holding and the follow-up of international sporting events,” it added.

The exemption does not include fans, who will be obliged to follow German government self-isolation rules.

Germany declared the UK a ‘virus variant area of concern’ on May 23rd due to rising cases linked to the Delta variant in parts of the country. 

READ ALSO: Germany makes UK ‘virus variant area of concern’: How does it affect you?

This reclassification came just seven days after the UK was put back on Germany’s list at the lowest risk level, and barely a month after it was taken off all risk lists completely.

The ban was put in place despite the UK’s relatively low Covid rates as a precautionary measure.

A general ban on entry is in place for people coming from countries on the ‘virus variant’ list – such as India and Brazil – the highest of Germany’s risk categories. 

There are some exceptions for entering from these countries – for example German residents and citizens. However, anyone who does enter from Germany is required to submit a Covid-19 test before boarding the flight and must quarantine for 14 days on arrival, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or not.

READ ALSO: Germany’s new relaxed quarantine and testing rules after travel

Euro 2020 starts on Friday as Italy host Turkey in Rome with the Bavarian city hosting three group games as well as the last-eight match.

Around 14,000 fans will be allowed into the Allianz Arena for the fixtures.