DORTMUND, Germany, Nov 28 (Reuters) – Borussia Dortmund booked their spot in the Champions League knockout stage with a game to spare after a goalless draw against visitors Club Bruges in Group A on Wednesday.
The Germans, who only needed a point to advance, were far from their free-scoring best after a spell that has seen them average more than three goals per game over their last 12 competitive games.
Atletico Madrid lead the standings in the group on 12 points after beating bottom club AS Monaco 2-0 earlier on Wednesday.
Dortmund are two points behind, with Bruges, who secured third place and a spot in the Europa League after Monaco’s defeat, in third place on five. The top two teams in each group advance to the knockout stage.
Dortmund, in scintillating form this season, were in control but needed to be patient against a well-organised Belgian defence, despite having close to 75 percent possession throughout.
Apart from a fluffed Christian Pulisic effort from close range early on, the hosts had to wait until the 32nd minute for another golden chance through Marco Reus, who broke clear but fired wide with only the goalkeeper to beat.
Dortmund, who are still unbeaten in the Bundesliga, kept up the pressure after the break and American Pulisic again came close as the hosts lacked their usual clinical finish.
The Belgians successfully piled bodies in and around the box to keep out their opponents and earn a point but did little to make it an entertaining spectacle, having not produced a single effort on target in the entire game. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann Editing by Ian Chadband)