Real Madrid needed a late goal to salvage a humbling 3-3 draw at struggling Legia Warsaw in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Gareth Bale's stunning acrobatic effort gave Real the lead after 57 seconds - the club's fastest goal in the Champions League - and Karim Benzema made it 2-0 in the 35th minute, only for Legia to stage a stunning comeback.
Most are confident of doing so on their own turf and Legia showed in the return fixture that they are not awed by Real Madrid, coming out with all guns blazing and only failing to take the lead courtesy of Keylor Navas' far post.
In the end, a point was rescued as Kovacic curled home and Madrid nearly bagged a victor as Lucas Vazquez struck the bar right at the death.
Madrid substitute Lucas Vazquez nearly turned the result back around when he sent a shot off the crossbar right before the final whistle.
The Gabon worldwide was omitted from the squad hours before kick-off, with Dortmund citing "internal reasons" for his suspension, though his team-mates went on and claimed a 1-0 victory anyway as his replacement Adrian Ramos headed in against Sporting Lisbon.
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The Warsaw side has not won a single point in the Champions League group stage, losing three matches.
The Warsaw side were beaten 1:5 away by Real Madrid on 18 October. Legia sit rock bottom of Group F with zero points, one goal scored and 13 conceded.
Dortmund, like Madrid, can advance with a win over Sporting Lisbon. "We're expecting a hard game". Only 200 spectators will be allowed in the stadium for the match, the majority of whom will be journalists or officials. "We are not happy with the result", Bale said.
"We respect Legia. This is a good team, that can get you into trouble", Zidane said. "We have to improve defensively and take our chances". "When you start out up two goals, there is a moment that you have to think more and play more as a team, and we didn't do that". Defence will be the order of the day for the Warsaw side but Real's attacking options should have too much for them.
Bale, who signed a new five-year contract with the European champions in midweek, got the game off to a flying start by swivelling to hook the ball into the top corner.