Dort­mund ends 2016 to whis­tles from fans af­ter an­other draw

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

BER­LIN: Borus­sia Dort­mund ended 2016 with whis­tles from its own fans af­ter be­ing held to a 1-1 draw in the Bun­desliga by gritty Augs­burg on Tues­day. Not even the news of mid­fielder Ju­lian Weigl’s con­tract ex­ten­sion to 2021 could hide the dis­ap­point­ment of Dort­mund’s third suc­ces­sive league draw.

It wasn’t for lack of ef­fort - the home side had 23 at­tempts on goal but only Ous­mane Dem­bele’s equal­izer af­ter the in­ter­val to show for it. “I think the game to­day re­flects the whole open­ing half of the sea­son,” Dort­mund coach Thomas Tuchel said of a side that beat Bay­ern Mu­nich and topped a Cham­pi­ons League group con­tain­ing Real Madrid.

Tuchel had said he was wor­ried by his side’s propen­sity to con­cede first - since the 1-0 win over Bay­ern, Dort­mund had been left with an up­hill task across six com­pet­i­tive games. And it hap­pened again on Tues­day when Ji Dong-won scored against his for­mer club in the 33rd minute. Marc Bar­tra lost the ball and Martin Hin­tereg­ger surged for­ward de­spite the at­ten­tion of five Dort­mund play­ers, slip­ping a pass to Jan Mo­ravek, who no­ticed Ji free on the left. Goal­keeper Ro­man Wei­den­feller blocked his first ef­fort but the re­bound fell kindly for the South Korean to grab his third league goal of the sea­son. Dort­mund was dom­i­nat­ing pos­ses­sion but strug­gling to cre­ate chances against Augs­burg’s com­pact 5-4-1 for­ma­tion.

Tuchel brought Bar­tra off for Sven Ben­der at the break and Dem­bele equal­ized two min­utes later, sweep­ing the ball in with his left foot af­ter Shinji Ka­gawa played him through.

Ka­gawa might have had a penalty shortly af­ter­ward when it ap­peared Paul Ver­haegh brought him down.

Dort­mund pushed hard but couldn’t find an­other break­through. The side is fourth in the stand­ings and might be over­taken by Hof­fen­heim and Hertha Ber­lin on Wednesday, when league leader Bay­ern Mu­nich hosts pro­moted Leipzig for a top-of-the-ta­ble clash.

All of Tues­day’s games were pre­ceded with a minute’s si­lence for vic­tims of the truck at­tack at a Christ­mas market that left 12 peo­ple dead and many in­jured in Ber­lin the evening be­fore. The play­ers also wore black arm­bands.

BORUS­SIA MOENCHENGLAD­BACH 1, WOLFS­BURG 2

Wolfs­burg’s short revival un­der Va­le­rien Is­mael con­tin­ued with its sec­ond suc­ces­sive vic­tory af­ter four win­less games.

How­ever, it might not be enough to save his coach­ing job amid re­ports the club ap­proached David Wag­ner, the cur­rent Hud­der­s­field Town coach, for the po­si­tion. Wag­ner opted to stay with the sec­ond-tier English side.

‘Glad­bach coun­ter­part An­dre Schu­bert also faces an un­cer­tain Christ­mas with just one win now from 11 games. His side got off to a bad start when Daniel Caligiuri opened the scor­ing on a coun­ter­at­tack in the third minute.

Thor­gan Haz­ard equal­ized early in the sec­ond half but ‘Glad­bach’s de­fense was caught nap­ping again when Ju­lian Draxler sent Mario Gomez through for the win­ner five min­utes later.

Whis­tles greeted the fi­nal whis­tle from dis­grun­tled home fans. ‘Glad­bach is just three points above the rel­e­ga­tion zone, while Wolfs­burg is only ahead on goal dif­fer­ence.

HAM­BURGER SV 2, SCHALKE 1

Bobby Wood came on a sub­sti­tute and se­cured a wel­come vic­tory for Ham­burg with a bril­liant late strike against in­jury-hit Schalke.

Ni­co­lai Mueller made the break­through on the hour mark, be­fore Jo­han Djourou missed the chance to seal it when Ralf Faehrmann saved his weak penalty 15 min­utes later.

Amer­i­can for­ward Wood, who had three league goals al­ready, fur­ther en­deared him­self to the home fans when Mueller sent him through on the right. Still faced by Germany de­fender Benedikt Hoewedes, he turned in­side and un­leashed an un­stop­pable shot in­side the far post. Do­nis Avdi­jaj claimed Schalke’s last­minute con­so­la­tion with a fine vol­ley for the young­ster’s first Bun­desliga goal.

Ham­burg climbed into the rel­e­ga­tion play­off place ahead of Wednesday’s games.

EINTRACHT FRANK­FURT 3, MAINZ 0

Frank­furt com­pleted a fine first half to the sea­son with a vic­tory made eas­ier by Jhon Cor­doba’s send­ing off for a stamp on David Abra­ham in a tus­sle 10 min­utes into the sec­ond half. Frank­furt cap­tain Abra­ham had set up Bra­n­imir Hr­gota for the opener in the 18th minute, and Hr­gota set up Ay­men Barkok with 15 min­utes re­main­ing. Barkok re­turned the fa­vor for Hr­gota to seal it 10 min­utes later as Frank­furt climbed to third be­fore the rest of the 16th round. “Of course I’m sat­is­fied, with the re­sult and the way the sea­son has gone,” Frank­furt coach Niko Ko­vac said.

DORT­MUND: Dort­mund’s Chris­tian Pulisic jumps for the ball in front of Augs­burg goal­keeper Mar­win Hitz dur­ing the Ger­man Bun­desliga soc­cer match be­tween Borus­sia Dort­mund and FC Augs­burg in Dort­mund, Germany, Tues­day.

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