Witsel rescues Dortmund from embarrassing Cup exit on debut

Belgium midfielder Axel Witsel is expected to play a key role for Borussia Dortmund this season after his transfer to the Bundesliga from Chinese side Tianjin Quanjian

Belgian international Axel Witsel struck deep into injury time on his Borussia Dortmund debut to save his new club from an embarrassing German Cup exit at Greuther Furth on Monday, before Marco Reus sealed a 2-1 win in extra time.

The 29-year-old Witsel, who joined the Bundesliga giants from Chinese side Tianjin Quanjian earlier this month, came off the bench in the 74th minute of the first-round tie.

He saw Sebastian Ernst give second-tier Greuther Furth a shock lead just three minutes later, but volleyed home an equaliser in the fifth minute of added time before Reus grabbed a 121st-minute winner.

It was also Swiss coach Lucien Favre's first game in charge of Dortmund, and it was his second-half introductions of Witsel and English teenager Jadon Sancho which helped his new team avoid falling at the first hurdle of the Cup for the first time since 2005.

Unsurprisingly, the four-time winners dominated possession, but had to wait until the very end to find a way past Greuther Furth goalkeeper Sascha Burchert.

Dortmund 'keeper Roman Burki kept play going deep inside the opposition half as the visitors grew desperate, but a long ball into the box was met by Witsel's right boot.

And Reus popped up with penalties looming in injury time of extra time to give Favre a winning, although dramatic, start to life as Dortmund boss.