Borussia Dortmund blew a chance to take over first place in the Bundesliga on Saturday, losing 3-2 in “bitter” overtime against Cologne.
Only a week before their massive match against reigning champions Bayern Munich, Dortmund failed to capitalize on leaders Union Berlin’s loss at Frankfurt.
After taking a 1-0 lead into halftime against Cologne, they promptly gave up two goals within two minutes of each other to suffer their third consecutive loss in the Bundesliga, leaving manager Edin Terzic to bemoan his team’s frail state.
This is quite bitter for us,” Terzic remarked of the news.
We were not yet prepared to demonstrate our resolve (in the second half).
“We were not prepared to defend our goal at one of the most crucial points of the game.”
Cologne head coach Steffen Baumgart said, “a very strong effort” after his team’s lone loss in the Bundesliga this season.
Due to Mats Hummels’ late withdrawal, Dortmund’s English teenager Jude Bellingham was elected captain for the first time, and he assisted on a first-half goal by Julian Brandt.
“We should have done ourselves a favor — we have to do more,” Brandt lamented.
When the first half ended, the visitors looked to be in complete control, but Florian Kainz scored in the 53rd minute to tie the game.
Two minutes later, former Dortmund striker Steffen Tigges capitalized on sloppy defending to score off a Dortmund corner.
Dejan Ljubicic, playing in the middle of the field, was given much too much time to guide in a long-distance shot in the 71st minute as a suddenly disorganized Dortmund continued to defend poorly.
In the 78th minute, Dortmund scored on a fortunate deflection to cut the deficit to one, but Cologne hung on for the win.
Two goals from Niclas Fuellkrug helped Werder Bremen to a 5-1 home victory over Borussia Moenchengladbach in the late game on Saturday. Fuellkrug now leads the Bundesliga with seven goals scored in eight games played.
Despite Gladbach’s strong defensive play (they allowed only five goals in their previous seven games), Bremen scored three goals in the first 13 minutes to take a commanding 3-0 lead and knock fourth-place Dortmund off the podium.
To cap off their first home win since being promoted from the second level, Bremen scored twice in the final minutes before halftime and again in the second half.
Fans in Bremen yelled for Fuellkrug to “fill Germany’s hole” in front of goal in the upcoming World Cup, but he gave credit to his “world-class” squad for his performance.
The staff is always a big reason why I’m able to maintain my current level of fitness and performance.
For the first time this season, Union was defeated as Frankfurt cruised to a 2-0 victory at home with to goals from Mario Goetze and Jesper Lindstroem.
Even though Frankfurt’s top scorer Randal Kolo Muani was sent off for a second yellow card in the 68th minute, the home team was able to hold on and defeat Berlin, who had been undefeated up to that point.
“We did not bring the essentials which typically characterize us onto the pitch,” Berlin coach Urs Fischer remarked after the game.
Just like Union, Freiburg has been a pleasant surprise this season, and their 2-1 victory over Mainz at home has propelled them to second place.
Michael Gregoritsch and Daniel-Kofi Kyereh gave Freiburg a 2-0 lead at the break, but Mainz responded with a goal by Aaron Caricol, and the visitors had a few anxious moments down the stretch.
With goals from Timo Werner (2) and Christopher Nkunku (penalty), Leipzig defeated winless Bochum (eight games) by a score of 4-0.
Wolfsburg defeated Stuttgart 3-2 thanks to an injury-time goal from Yannick Gerhardt. It was the home team’s second win of the season.
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