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Bundesliga: Ji strikes twice as Augsburg shock Borussia Dortmund

Augsburg forward Ji Dong-won (middle) ruins Dortmund with brace Bundesliga Berlin, March 1, 2019 (Reuters/NNN) Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund slumped to a shock 2-1 loss at Augsburg on Friday. Augsburg forward Ji Dong-won scored twice to give champions Bayern Munich the chance to draw level at the top. Dortmund, whose captain and top scorer Marco […]

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Augsburg forward Ji Dong-won (middle) ruins Dortmund with brace

Bundesliga

Berlin, March 1, 2019 (Reuters/NNN) Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund slumped to a shock 2-1 loss at Augsburg on Friday.

Augsburg forward Ji Dong-won scored twice to give champions Bayern Munich the chance to draw level at the top.

Dortmund, whose captain and top scorer Marco Reus returned after a month out through injury, are on 54 points, three ahead of Bayern.

The Bavarians travel to Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday.

Dortmund had led the standings by seven points.

Their second league loss of the season came before next week’s Champions League round of 16 second leg against Tottenham Hotspur following their 3-0 defeat in London last month.

The Ruhr valley club, who beat Bayer Leverkusen last week to end a five-game winless run in all competitions, struggled to reach the Augsburg box and the hard-working hosts took control.

South Korea international Ji stunned the visitors in the 24th minute when he shook off two defenders to fire in from close range.

Dortmund, who had two chances late in the first half, were toothless for much of the second period.

They went 2-0 down when Ji beautifully chipped the ball past keeper Roman Buerki in the 68th minute.

Dortmund substitute Paco Alcacer notched his 13th league goal in the 81st to cut the deficit but despite late pressure they could not find an equaliser.

Fifteenth-placed Augsburg held firm to move further away from the relegation zone. (Reuters/NNN)

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Two-time Bundesliga champions Kaiserslautern file insolvency

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German third division club Kaiserslautern, four-time national champions and two-time Bundesliga winners, said on Monday that they had applied for voluntary bankruptcy proceedings amid a financial crisis.


“The goal of the process is to quickly return to economic sustainability,” club chief executive Soeren Oliver Voigt said in a statement.

The decision was not taken lightly but would give the club breathing space from 24 million euros (27 million dollars) of debt.

Around 15 million euros are needed for a playing licence for next season.

Kaiserslautern said its business operation and on field activity would continue as planned next term.

The club were Bundesliga champions in 1991 and 1998 and were last promoted to the top flight in 2010.

In spite of finishing seventh in 2011, they were relegated in 2012 and after narrowly missing out on promotion over a number of years, tumbled into the third tier in 2018.
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Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)

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Time running out for Bremen’s Bundesliga survival bid

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Werder Bremen have spent only one season outside the Bundesliga since it was launched in 1963 and while their run of 13 home matches without a win had left them deep in relegation, troubled club officials are not throwing in the towel.


Werder, who played more Bundesliga games (1,896) than any other team, were second from bottom with 25 points from 30 games, three points behind Fortuna Duesseldorf in the promotion-relegation playoff berth.

They were also six points away from safety – Mainz in 15th place.

Werder went down 1-0 at home to VfL Wolfsburg on Sunday and their next home game does not offer much hope – against Bayern Munich on June 16 where the leaders could secure the title.

But before that, Bremen traveled to bottom side Paderborn on Saturday and coach Florian Kohfeldt knew the turnaround must start there.

“We have four games to achieve the realistic goal of avoiding relegation.

“What gives us courage – as strange as it may sound – is the … table. We are not seven or eight points behind, but only three. And we still have four games, so you can catch up three points,” the 37-year-old said.

Frank Baumann, the clubs’ sporting director, had  not lost faith in his young coach.

“I think our chances are still alive, but the bottom line is that only the results count..

“We’ll give everything and fight until the last game,” he added.

Bremen won the last of their four championships in 2004 and narrowly missed out on a Europa League place last season.

Kohfeldt said he expected Milot Rashica to return from an ankle injury and Niclas Feullkrug was also set to return next week for the first time since September.

The 27-year-old made a good start to the season with two goals and one assist in the first four games before suffering a cruciate ligament injury.

“It’s the strikers who we are looking to, to make the difference,” the coach added.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Bundesliga: 10-man Leipzig held to 2-2 home draw by Hertha Berlin

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RB Leipzig’s faint title hopes faded further as they fought out a 2-2 home draw with Hertha Berlin after conceding late equaliser from the penalty spot.


This was having been reduced to 10 men in see-saw Bundesliga encounter on Wednesday.

The result left Leipzig third on 55 points from 28 games, nine behind leaders Bayern Munich and two adrift of second-placed Borussia Dortmund, while Hertha moved up one place to 10th on 35 points.

The visitors took 10th-minute lead through Serbian midfielder Marko Grujic, on loan from Premier League Liverpool, before Lukas Klostermann levelled in the 24th and Marcel Halstenberg was dismissed in the 63rd for a second yellow card.

Patrik Schick netted a bizarre goal five minutes later, following goalkeeper error.

But Leipzig could not hold on as substitute Krzysztof Piatek earned a share of the spoils for the visitors with an 82nd-minute penalty.

Like all other Bundesliga matches, the clash was played behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Grujic drew loud cheers from his team mates when he volleyed home a Marvin Plattenhardt corner from seven metres.

Klostermann levelled with superb header as he ghosted away from his markers at the near post.

He met Christopher Nkunku corner before Vedad Ibisevic skied his shot high and wide into the empty stands at the other end.

With Halstenberg dismissed for a second bookable foul, Schick gave Leipzig the lead thanks to howler by Hertha keeper Rune Jarstein, as the ball trickled out of his arms and over the line.

Hertha had the last laugh, however, as Matheus Cunha was fouled by Ademola Lookman and Poland striker Piatek sent home keeper Peter Gulacsi the wrong way with a perfect spot-kick.

 

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Silas Nwoha (NAN)

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Bundesliga: Augsburg win as coach returns from toothpaste ban, RB Leipzig go third

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Augsburg won 3-0 at sliding Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga on Sunday as coach Heiko Herrlich made a victorious debut in the dugout.


Herrlich was making his debut after a trip to buy toothpaste ruled him out of last weekend’s game.

RB Leipzig also got back to winning ways after three draws with a rampant 5-0 win at strugglers Mainz.

They moved back up to third in the table and thereby reignited their outside title hopes.

Timo Werner scored another hat-trick against Mainz to help send RB Leipzig seven points behind leaders Bayern Munich with seven games left this term.

Mainz are 15th and now three points above Fortuna Dusseldorf, who occupy the relegation play-off spot.

They could have closed the gap by more but for two late Cologne goals in a 2-2 draw at their derby rivals in the late game.

Dusseldorf’s Kenan Karaman netted with a deflected strike in the first half with Erik Thommy making it two shortly after Mark Uth’s weak penalty kick for Cologne was easily saved.

Cologne, who included Ismail Jakobs in the starting line-up after he recovered from Covid-19, stormed back through Anthony Modeste (88th minute) and Jhon Cordoba (90th min.).

At Schalke 04, a free-kick by Eduard Loewen and goals from Noah Sarenren Bazee and Sergio Cordova ended a run of six games without a win for 12th-placed Augsburg.

The hosts, who are in eighth position, failed to win for a ninth league match.

Schalke 04’s UEFA Europa League hopes took a knock after another dreadful display as both sides played their second game since a two-month coronavirus suspension.

Herrlich, appointed in March, took charge of an Augsburg match for the first time having sat out the 2-1 home defeat by Wolfsburg after breaking quarantine by going out to purchase toothpaste.

“It was a strange feeling in an empty stadium,” Herrlich told a news conference. “There is nothing to celebrate yet. We have achieved the turnaround. Now we have to push on.”

After a minute’s silence for victims of the pandemic, Augsburg kicked off opposite a familiar face.

On-loan Michael Gregoritsch led the line for Schalke 04 against his parent club, but he failed to shine.

Schalke 04 goalkeeper Markus Schubert was again preferred to Bayern Munich-bound Alexander Nuebel in spite of a shaky showing in last weekend’s 4-0 loss at derby rivals Borussia Dortmund.

He could do little about Loewen’s curling sixth minute free-kick, getting a fingertip to the ball as it flew in.

Schalke 04, who also lost Suat Serdar to a leg injury, huffed and puffed for a leveller but never came especially close.

Poor defending then allowed Sarenren Bazee to score his first Bundesliga goal with a crisp finish after a counter-attack on 76 minutes.

Cordova took advantage of more bad play in the backline to make it 3-0 in stoppage time.

“We expected something very different. I think we showed a reaction to the Borussia Dortmund defeat. But then there were individual mistakes,” said Schalke 04 captain Daniel Caligiuri.

After a great start to the season, RB Leipzig had looked far from title challengers immediately before and after the coronavirus hiatus.

But they quickly burst back to form against a hapless Mainz.

Werner slightly scuffed home Konrad Laimer’s pass on 11 minutes.

Yussuf Poulsen then headed in Marcel Sabitzer’s cross and Sabitzer got on the scoresheet himself from Poulsen’s lay-off on 36 minutes.

It was more of the same early in the second half with Germany forward Werner tapping in after a well-worked move.

He then hooked in a career-high 24th league goal of the season to match his triple from the 8-0 win in the home game against Mainz in November.

All Bundesliga games until the end of the season will be without fans to try to limit infection.

On Saturday, leaders Bayern Munich beat Eintracht Frankfurt 5-2 and second-placed Borussia Dortmund prevailed 2-0 at Wolfsburg ahead of the title-chasing duo meeting in Dortmund on Tuesday.
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Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)

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