UCL: Langerak helps Dortmund go top

Mitch Langerak is hopeful of playing in the UEFA Champions League knockout stages after impressing in Borussia Dortmund’s 1-1 draw with Anderlecht overnight.

Langerak was given the nod ahead of regular number one Roman Weidenfeller for the second straight game by Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp, who was coy about his selection in the lead-up.

And the Australian didn’t disappoint, producing a fine early save when exposed one-on-one against Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Previously, Langerak may have rushed off his line, but he stayed in his box and made a fine block with his chest.

Dortmund now move into the final 16 having finished top of Group D and Langerak was hopeful of holding his spot for the knockout stages.

“We're expecting tough opposition in the knockout rounds,” Langerak told reporters.

“Whether I get to play or not is up to the coach, but he may go for Roman Weidenfeller.

“We'll see. I'll certainly be doing all I can in training.”

Langerak’s selection is a boost ahead of the 2015 Asian Cup, although he appears likely to play second fiddle to Mat Ryan.

The 26-year-old’s opportunity marked his first European start for the season, after playing against Napoli and Olympique Marseille last term.

“It was a great feeling to play in a Champions League match here,” Langerak said.

“We played well in my opinion. Obviously the equaliser was disappointing, especially for me.”

Langerak was hardly at fault for Anderlecht’s goal, with Mitrovic headed home from close range after pinpoint cross from Anthony Vanden Borre.

Elsewhere, Robbie Kruse made his first start for Bayer Leverkusen since December, which boss Roger Schmidt said “he earned”.

However, Kruse was replaced at the break after a first-half that Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller described as their worst of the campaign.

For the record, it ended 0-0 between Leverkusen and Benfica, with the Germans finishing second in their group.