Soccer-Malen's maiden goal hands Dortmund 1-0 win over Sporting

Soccer Football - Champions League - Group C - Borussia Dortmund v Sporting Lisbon - Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany - September 28, 2021 Borussia Dortmund's Axel Witsel applauds fans after the match REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen

DORTMUND, Germany (Reuters) -Borussia Dortmund beat Sporting 1-0 thanks to Donyell Malen's first goal for the club in their Champions League Group C match on Tuesday to make it two wins out of two.

Malen scored late in the first half with a low shot, and while being far from spectacular it was a crucial win for Dortmund and coach Marco Rose following their shock 1-0 loss to Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Bundesliga at the weekend.

Dortmund next play Ajax in Amsterdam on Oct. 19.

"It was hard work for us," said Dortmund defender Mats Hummels. "It was not all perfect and we made mistakes. But we had the right attitude."

"We tried everything, put in the work and so sometimes you end up winning a game 1-0."

The Germans had fit-again captain Marco Reus in the lineup but were badly missing injured top striker Erling Haaland and, while dominating possession, they could have used the Norwegian's power and finishing abilities up front.

They also suffered an early setback when Mo Dahoud had to be taken off injured after five minutes, with Julian Brandt coming on in his place.

Sporting spent most of their time defending in numbers but had a few chances with captain Sebastian Coates, back from suspension, firing over the bar with his back to goal in the 31st minute.

Dortmund struck with their first real opportunity when 22-year-old Dutch international Malen completed a quick three-pass move across the entire pitch involving Manuel Akanji and Jude Bellingham.

Malen finished the move with a well-placed low shot in the 37th minute for what was also his first ever Champions League goal.

Dortmund had the ball in the net twice more in the second half but both efforts were ruled offside.

The Germans and group leaders Ajax Amsterdam, 2-0 winners over Besiktas, have six points. Sporting and Turkish club Besiktas have no points.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Ken Ferris and Toby Davis)

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