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We’ve done a really good job of defending in this stretch

The Swiss goalkeeper was called into action again just past the half-hour, when a deep Pizzi free-kick was met with a powerful Luis?o header. Unfortunately for the veteran Brazilian, his effort was straight at Bürki, who made a comfortable catch. It proved the last real chance of a tight first half, with Benfica having recovered from their early setback in admirable fashion.

Within a couple of minutes of the restart, Benfica gave Dortmund another huge scare. A low cross from the right was swiped at by ?ukasz Piszczek, with the loose ball popping out for Cervi on the edge of the area. The Argentine attacker should’ve buried the ball in the back of the net, though a crucial hesitation allowed Piszczek to atone for his error and make a block.

Borussia Dortmund: Roman Bürki; Marc Bartra, Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Matthias Ginter 88’), ?ukasz Piszczek; Marcel Schmelzer, Julian Weigl, Gonzalo Castro, Erik Durm; Christian Pulisic, Ousmane Dembélé (Shinji Kagawa 80’); Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (André Schürrle 86’).

Minnesota’s football program will self-report an NCAA violation this week, after a report surfaced that Gopher coach P.J. Fleck allegedly recruited a former player of his at Western Michigan. Fleck left WMU for the Twin Cities in January.

Throughout the season, the narrative has been “UCLA has Final Four potential if it could only play defense.” Alford and company have been hard at work trying to change that, and they may have hit a breakthrough.

His team hasn’t given up more than 80 points in a game since that late-January loss at USC, and they haven’t had to slow down their high-octane offense to achieve that. The Bruins have won all nine games since that loss, scoring at least 95 points in four of them and reaching triple digits twice.

“We’ve done a really good job of defending in this stretch,” says Alford. “Our defense is getting better, our efficiency is getting better, and you can see that every time we get a stop and get out into transition, that’s when we are very good.”8

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