10-man Juventus draws 1-1 at Gladbach in Champions League
MOENCHENGLADBACH, Germany (AP) Stephan Lichtsteiner scored one month after undergoing heart surgery as 10-man Juventus closed in on a spot in the second round of the Champions League with a 1-1 draw at Borussia Moenchengladbach on Tuesday.
Lichtsteiner equalized one minute before the break, cancelling out United States international Fabian Johnson's deserved 18th-minute opener for `Gladbach.
''The match was really important for us and I really wanted to help the team,'' said Lichtsteiner, who completed just two training sessions with his teammates after the operation to correct breathing issues.
The hosts had taken the lead when Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini could only half clear Oscar Wendt's cross as far as Raffael, who teed up the unmarked Johnson to slot his shot inside the far post.
''We played a good match, but we should have done more in the first half after our goal. At this level you have to convert your chances,'' Johnson said.
Juventus finished the first half strongly and the equalizer duly came when Paul Pogba produced a fine chip over the defense for Lichtsteiner to smash a volley past Switzerland teammate Yann Sommer.
Pogba flashed a shot just wide after the break and Alvaro Morata went close but the visitors' momentum was halted in the 53rd, when Brazilian midfielder Hernanes was sent off for a reckless two-footed lunge on Alvaro Dominguez.
Juventus needed veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon to keep the home side at bay later on.
''We're disappointed. We played a great game. We wanted to win and did everything for it,'' `Gladbach midfielder Ibrahima Traore said.
Manchester City won 3-1 at Sevilla to move top of Group D with nine points from four games. Juventus is a point behind, with Sevilla on three points with two games remaining. `Gladbach on two points now can't advance.
''The fans reacted with standing ovations. I think that's a sign of what we delivered,'' `Gladbach sporting director Max Eberl said.