The Washington Post
Chelsea advances on penalty do-over
CHELSEA 2, DORTMUND 0
Kai Havertz fired Chelsea into the Champions League quarterfinals to ease the pressure on Manager Graham Potter.
The German international’s twice-taken penalty secured a 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday in London. Chelsea advanced, 2-1 on aggregate, after trailing 1-0 from the round-of-16 first leg in Dortmund last month.
Raheem Sterling lashed the 2021 European champions ahead on the night in the 43rd minute after collecting a cross from Ben Chilwell.
Havertz had already hit the post in the first half and seen another effort overruled for offside. And he thought he let another chance go by when firing a second-half penalty against the post after Marius Wolf handled in the box.
But the spot kick was ordered to be retaken when VAR spotted encroachment in the area.
Havertz stepped up again and coolly slotted home on his second chance in the 53rd.
“I don’t know what I was thinking, but the referee let me retake the penalty,” he said. “I was a bit nervous, but I scored.”
Dortmund’s players were furious about the retaken penalty, but for Chelsea, it could prove to be a turning point after a troubled six months under Potter. A run of just two wins in 12 matches had placed questions over his future.
The Champions League represents Chelsea’s last chance for silverware and possibly the only route back into next season’s competition for the two-time European champions, who sit 10th in the Premier League.
American midfielder Christian Pulisic returned for Chelsea from a two-month layoff because of a knee injury, entering in the 83rd minute. American midfielder Gio Reyna entered in the fifth minute for Dortmund as an injury substitute. . . .
In Lisbon, Portuguese side Benfica made it look easy again with a 5-1 win over Club Brugge to seal its spot in the quarterfinals of the Champions League for the second straight season.
It advanced, 7-1 on aggregate, following its 2-0 win in the first leg in Belgium.
Gonçalo Ramos scored twice for Benfica.
CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Miche-naider Chéry scored twice as Haitian club Violette AC defeated MLS team Austin FC, 3-0, in the first leg of their round-of-16 match in Santiago, Dominican Republic. . . .
Host Alianza FC and the Philadelphia Union of MLS played to a scoreless draw in the first leg of their round-of-16 match in San Salvador.
New concussion rules sought
Major League Soccer will keep on pushing the sport’s international rulemakers to allow a trial of temporary substitutes for players suspected of concussions.
The International Football Association Board (IFAB), which decides rules, said Saturday that it will continue with trials of permanent substitutions for players suspected of head injuries. MLS and England’s Premier League proposed having injured players be assessed for a longer period and have the potential to rejoin the match.
MLS said it will work with the Premier League, the French league, the MLS union, international union FIFPRO and the World Leagues Forum to push the IFAB to trial temporary substitutes.
ENGLAND: After recovering from gallbladder surgery, Tottenham Manager Antonio Conte will be back on the sideline for his team’s second leg of the round of 16 in the Champions League against AC Milan on Wednesday.
FRANCE: Angers Coach Abdel Bouhazama resigned after making sexist comments, the lastplace French league club said.
MISC.: Brazil will bid to host the 2027 Women’s World Cup, the South American nation’s sports ministry said.
A joint bid of Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany as well as another from South Africa are also in contention. Soccer executives in the United States have recently said they’re considering a bid to host the tournament in 2027 or 2031.