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Borussia Dortmund beats Real Madrid to advance to Champions League final

Sergio Ramos celebrates with Karim Benzema after scoring,

Sergio Ramos celebrates with Karim Benzema after scoring, during the Champions League semifinal second leg match against Real Madrid. (April 30, 2013) Credit: AP

MADRID -- Borussia Dortmund withstood a nervy finish to reach its first Champions League final since 1997 on Tuesday despite a 2-0 loss to Real Madrid that wasn't enough to overturn the German team's large advantage from the first leg.

After missing several good early chances, Madrid netted two late goals through Karim Benzema in the 83rd minute and Sergio Ramos in the 88th to make the Santiago Bernabeu crowd believe an improbable comeback was in the works. A 3-0 win would have put Madrid through on away goals after Dortmund won 4-1 at home last week, but Jose Mourinho's team never came close to a third goal despite five minutes of injury time.

"They put a lot of pressure on us and scored two late goals," Dortmund midfielder Kevin Grosskreutz said. "However we are a great club and deserved to go through. I haven't thought about Wembley yet, let's celebrate now and think about the final tomorrow."

Dortmund is likely to face Bayern Munich in an all-German final at Wembley as the Bundesliga champion holds a 4-0 lead over Barcelona going into Wednesday's return leg.

Madrid was eliminated in the semifinals for the third straight year under Mourinho, and the coach hinted again after the game that this season will be his last in Spain. Asked whether he'll still be at the club next season, the Portuguese coach said "maybe not," before indicating he wants to return to England.

"I know in England I'm loved," Mourinho said. "And in Spain the situation is a bit different."

Benzema put Madrid ahead after a slick passing move as Oezil found the striker in the area and he tapped into the roof of the net. Ramos then doubled the tally when the ball fell to him in the area and he fired a high shot past goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller.

Ramos then headed wide in injury time in Madrid's only half-chance for a decisive goal.

"It's a shame. Sometimes you lose, that is football," Ramos said. "In Dortmund we should have played the way we did tonight. We feel for the fans. It's a shame to have been so close but the missed chances in the first half were costly."

Madrid came out attacking from the start but missed a trio of good chances in the first 15 minutes in search of an early goal that would have put a lot more pressure on the German team.

Gonzalo Higuain was first played clear in the area in the fourth minute but his low shot drew a good leg save from Weidenfeller. Cristiano Ronaldo then downed the ball with his chest in the area and struck a hard volley that went straight at Weidenfeller, and Mesut Oezil then wasted another good opportunity by shooting wide.

Dortmund then managed to slow down Madrid's attacks and settle the tempo, gradually earning greater possession. In the second half, it was Dortmund that had the better chances early.

Robert Lewandowski, who scored all four goals for Dortmund last week, missed two good chances in the second half as he first shot over the bar in the 49th and then hit the crossbar a minute later.

Goalkeeper Diego Lopez then kept Madrid in the game when he dove to save Ilkay Gundogan's close-range shot in the 62nd.

New York Sports