Sebastien Haller double guides Dortmund closer to first league title in 11 years
AUGSBURG, Germany-Striker Sebastien Haller scored twice as Borussia Dortmund beat 10-man Augsburg 3-0 on Sunday to take control of the Bundesliga title race going into next week’s season finale.
Ivory Coast International Haller, who missed much of the campaign after being diagnosed with testicular cancer during pre-season last July, broke the deadlock in the 58th minute.
He tapped in his ninth league goal of the season six minutes before the end to seal their victory. Julian Brandt completed the win with a stoppage-time goal.
The Ruhr valley club, whose last title win came in 2012 under then coach Juergen Klopp, are on 70 points, two ahead of Bayern, winners of the last 10 league crowns.
The Bavarians suffered a shock 3-1 home loss to RB Leipzig on Saturday.
“We have suffered and we had to sweat a lot, not only this season,” said Dortmund coach Edin Terzic. “Now it is about taking that last step together with our fans in our stadium in our city and finally bringing the league trophy back to Dortmund.”
“This has not been the season of missed chances but the season of setbacks,” Terzic said. “It is now about taking that last step.”
Dortmund host ninth-placed Mainz 05 on the last matchday while Bayern visit Cologne, who are 10th.
“This year we are closer than we have been for a long time,” Terzic said. “We will sleep six more times, step on the gas and hopefully get to hold the Bundesliga trophy in our hands.”
In a one-sided first half Dortmund had 16 shots on goal to Augsburg’s one and also hit the post through Niklas Suele but could not score even when the hosts were left with 10 men following the dismissal of Felix Uduokhai in the 38th.
Emre Can also hit the woodwork after the restart but they finally broke the deadlock through Haller when he slotted in off the post.
Augsburg instantly responded with a chance of their own but Dortmund keeper Gregor Kobel did well to stop Irvin Cardona’s shot from 10 metres.
Haller settled Dortmund’s nerves with a tap-in and Brandt completed their win in stoppage time.
“If someone told me six months ago that I would be in this situation today I would not have believed them,” Haller, who underwent surgery and chemotherapy before his return to action in 2023, said.
“We have invested a lot and now we have a chance to achieve something big. There is no magic. It is about investing. Then it comes.”
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