Tuesday April 16, 2024

Dortmund beat Augsburg to go top with one game left, Stuttgart win

Published : 21 May 2023, 23:31

  By Mark Meadows, dpa
Players of Dortmund celebrate scoring during the German first division Bundesliga football match between Borussia Dortmund and Union Berlin in Dortmund, Germany, April 8, 2023. File Photo: Xinhua.

Borussia Dortmund need just one more win in next weekend's season finale to end Bayern Munich's 10-year reign as Bundesliga champions following a 3-0 victory at Augsburg on Sunday.

Sebastien Haller, who missed the first half of the season due to cancer treatment, grabbed the first two goals on 58 and 84 minutes. The forward expertly found the far corner after a mistake by Maximilian Bauer for the opener and then slotted in an easy second.

"Now we have a huge chance to achieve something big," Haller told DAZN. "We knew we have wasted a few opportunities in the past. I'm happy and proud of the team. It is something beautiful."

Julian Brandt added a jubilant third in stoppage time.

Dortmund, last champions in 2012, moved two points above Bayern at the top after taking full advantage of Thomas Tuchel's side being stunned 3-1 at home on Saturday by third-placed RB Leipzig.

The campaign concludes next Saturday when Dortmund - formerly coached by Tuchel - host Mainz and Bayern are at mid-table Cologne.

Jude Bellingham was out injured for the patient visitors, who had missed a raft chances at 0-0, with Niklas Süle and Emre Can both hitting the post. But Dortmund were helped by Felix Uduokhai being dismissed on 38 minutes for a debatable professional foul.

It is the most thrilling title duel in Germany for over a decade, but the relegation battle will also be decided when the season climaxes.

Augsburg, in 14th, are not yet safe from the drop.

VfB Stuttgart moved out of the relegation places after a battling 4-1 win at Mainz, dropping Schalke back into the automatic drop zone with the one round of matches left.

Stuttgart rose up to fourth-bottom, a much better goal difference lifting them above Bochum, who occupy the relegation play-off spot. Schalke are a point adrift of both while bottom side Hertha Berlin have already gone down.

Ninth-placed Mainz, now with no chance of a European berth next season when they face Dortmund, took the lead when Marcus Ingvartsen poked in following a corner amid static Stuttgart defending.

But Japan's Wataru Endo levelled for Stuttgart before the break with a superb shot with the outside of his boot.

Endo had kept Stuttgart in the Bundesliga on the final day last season with a stoppage-time goal and helped his side at a crucial time again in Mainz, with Serhou Guirassy then rising highest to head in a corner on 64 minutes to complete the turnaround.

Chris Führich made it 3-1 soon after and Tanguy Coulibaly netted on the break in injury time for only a second away victory this term.

But the job is not done yet.

"I didn't see unnecessary euphoria from the guys in the dressing room," said coach Sebastian Hoeneß. "They know what we still need."

Stuttgart must win Saturday's showdown at home to Hoffenheim if the 2007 champions are to definitely save themselves once more. Bizarrely, Hoffenheim coach Pellegrino Matarazzo and Stuttgart boss Hoeneß were in charge at the opposite clubs at this point last term.

Schalke, who drew 2-2 with Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday in a game marred by crowd trouble, visit a Leipzig side next weekend who are already assured of a Champions League place.

Bochum levelled late on in a 1-1 draw which relegated Hertha on Saturday and host Bayer Leverkusen in the season-ender.

Sixth-placed Leverkusen drew 2-2 with Borussia Mönchengladbach in the late Sunday game and still need a win next weekend to guarantee a return to European football next term. Xabi Alonso's side lost to Roma in the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday.

Reports say Gladbach coach Daniel Farke is leaving, but the 11th-placed club has denied a decision has been taken.