English referee Oliver upsets Dortmund with a disputed red card for Hummels

2021-11-04 02:06:02 GMT2021-11-04 10:06:02(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

By Oliver Trust

BERLIN, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- A series of injuries and a scandalous red card is endangering Borussia Dortmund's international goals.

The Black and Yellows Champions League knock-out stage participation turns into a nail-biter with only two group encounters to go after the side lost 3-1 to Ajax.

As if it was not enough having to replace half of the starting eleven due to injuries of key-performers after the red card for Mats Hummels in the 29th-minute, emotions were running high.

Dortmund team captain Marco Reus called the action of English referee Michael Oliver "a game-changer."

German international Hummels put it even stronger. "An absurd decision. He decided today's game, and he knows it," the 32-year-old commented apparently upset.

"What shouldn't be left aside is the fatal acting performance of my opponent. First, he looked up and then started his turning around on the pitch. He came to me afterward and said it wasn't a red card," the Dortmund defender added.

Hummels called Antony a great footballer. "If he now develops into a fair sportsman, he is on his way to make a great career. Today he reacted highly unfairly. It was ridiculous."

Marco Rose said he was astonished by Oliver's decision. "Considering he is an experienced referee and someone sitting in a warm room backed his decision, I must say we destroy football this way," the Dortmund coach said.

With six points in group C slightly ahead of Sporting, the 2012 German Champion finds itself ahead of a delicate situation. It needs a victory in Lisbon on November 24 to qualify for the next round.

"I haven't got much hope to be around for this game, I still can't believe it," Hummels stated after he left the pitch with tears in his eyes cheered by over 50000 fans.

Outnumbered for more than 60 minutes Dortmund failed to withstand Ajax's pressure. The German's had ruled the game for 30 minutes, Borussia's dominance came to an end after Hummels was sent off.

"I don't know what to say, but we can only hope some of the guys return in time, to get us back on track," Rose said. The Dortmund coach praised his suffering team. "We improved significantly compared to the disastrous 4-0 defeat in Amsterdam."

Not only Hummels will be missing but Dortmund has to replace Giuseppe Reyna, Mo Dahoud, Raphael Guerreiro, Emre Can, Marius Wolf and spearhead Erling Haaland.

The Norwegian goal-machine attended the game on the stands next to chess world champion and compatriot Magnus Carlsen. Haaland was visibly annoyed after the red card.

Ajax coach Erik ten Hag spoke of a hard decision but mentioned the disputed penalty Dortmund benefitted from. Reus scored the 1-0 lead after Jude Bellingham fell in the Ajax box after being slightly touched.

"We have played a disappointing first half and improved after halftime," Ten Hag said after the Dutch side qualified for the knock-out stage. Ajax's better half was the one without Hummels on Dortmund's side. Enditem