Ronaldo ties record with Champions League goal; Real routs Dortmund
MADRID (AP) - Cristiano Ronaldo scored a record-tying goal before exiting to an apparent injury as Real Madrid beat Borussia Dortmund 3-0 on Wednesday to take a big step toward the Champions League semifinals.
Ronaldo netted his 14th goal of the season in Europe's top competition to give Madrid a clear advantage ahead of next week's quarterfinal return leg in Germany. But it came at a price as the Portugal forward, who came into the first-leg nursing a sore left knee, came off in the 80th minute.
Gareth Bale scored early and Isco added another before the half hour mark at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
The Spaniards opened against Dortmund as the Germans had against them in the semifinals last season - when they thrashed Madrid 4-1 en route to reaching the final with a 4-3 victory on aggregate.
Madrid certainly didn't need inspiration after last seasons' loss to Dortmund, which was without suspended striker Robert Lewandowski and five more regulars to injury.
The energetic start saw Bale nearly miss Dani Carvajal's short pass inside the area before stretching to toe poke his fifth goal of the competition under goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller after just three minutes.
Weidenfeller was sharp despite Madrid's early onslaught as he punched free kicks from Ronaldo and Bale over the bar. He also stayed in the game despite wincing in pain after Marco Reus made a clearance that also connected with the `keeper's hands.
With forward Angel Di Maria out to a gastro virus, Isco showed good poise to gather a loose ball in front of the area and slide home a low shot for 2-0 in the 27th minute.
The Spain midfielder's goal was just the boost Madrid needed as Dortmund began to find its rhythm, with Kevin Grosskreutz forcing Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas into a low stop in the 33rd.
Ronaldo, playing in his 100th Champions League game, was clearly eager to match Lionel Messi's record 14 goals scored in one Champions League campaign.
Luka Modric made it happen as the Croat pounced on a poor Dortmund pass deep in its own area in the 57th minute and picked out Ronaldo, who dribbled around Weidenfeller for his 45th goal of the season. Jose Altafini also scored 14 goals in the European Cup for AC Milan.
While Ronaldo and Karim Benzema continued to threaten Dortmund's goal, Madrid was fortunate not to concede under pressure as Pepe blocked Reus' shot from inside the area after Casillas failed to control a cross.
Madrid, which is vying for a record 10th European Cup, is now on the cusp of a fourth straight appearance in the semifinals.
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