Dortmund victorious, Berlin held by Bremen in the Bundesliga
Top German football club Dortmund took a late 2-0 win against newly promoted Ingolstadt thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's brace while Bremen came from behind to share the spoils with Berlin in the 19th round of Bundesliga.
Last year's runners-up Dortmund reaped a hard earned victory over Ingolstadt on Saturday. It was a stiff piece of work for Thomas Tuchel's men, who needed two second-half goals to seal the deal, reports Xinhua.
Ingolstadt's well-positioned defence choked off Dortmund's efforts from kick-off. Thus, goal-scoring opportunities remained a rare occurrence in the first half.
Nevertheless, Dortmund's Sokratis missed the chance to break the deadlock by header in the opening period before Mats Hummels denied Ingolstadt the golden opportunity as Hummels defused Dario Lezcano's effort on to the open goal.
After the restart, both sides started where they left off. Dortmund remained in control of the ball whereas Ingolstadt kept the hosts at the distance.
Ingolstadt were even able to overcome Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Buerki as Hummels' lob found its way into their own goal in the 65th minute. However, the goal was disallowed due to foul play.
The visitors were very unfortunate especially when Bundesliga top-scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang headed home the opener from an offside position moments later. To make things worse for a resilient Ingolstadt, Aubameyang wasn't done with scoring as he wrapped his brace with three minutes remaining to mark his 20th goal of the season.
With the result, Dortmund reduced the arrears to front-runners Bayern Munich to five points for the moment as Ingolstadt stay in 10th place after suffering their eighth loss of the season.
Berlin draw with Bremen
Third placed Berlin weren't able to protect their lead in the end as relegation threatened Bremen ground out a 3-all draw within six minutes late in the game.
Hertha Berlin took the reins from kick-off to catch a bright start as Vladimir Darida unleashed a hammer from 25 metres to open the scoring (29th minute).
Bremen wobbled and were unable to respond whereas Berlin pressed for the second goal. As a consequence, Pal Dardai's men doubled the lead three minutes before the break after Marvin Plattenhardt slotted home a direct free-kick into the top left corner.
The 'Green-Whites' picked up the pace after the break and reduced the arrears through Fin Bartels, whose solo run and goal made it 2-1 (67th). However, it was a short-lived joy for the hosts as Berlin's Salomon Kalou utilised a square pass into the box to restore the 2-goal lead (71st).
It looked like Berlin's third goal had killed the game but Bremen fought back again after Claudio Pizarro converted a foul play penalty to make it 2-3 four minutes later. The hosts kept it bowling and were rewarded as Santiago Garcia headed home the 3-3 draw and final score (77th).
With the draw, Berlin remain in third place with a three-point advantage to fourth placed Leverkusen as Bremen climbed off the relegation play-off spot.
Elsewhere, Leverkusen cruised 3-0 past bottom team Hannover to climb to fourth place by courtesy of Javier Hernandez' brace.
Schalke's youngsters Max Meyer and Leroy Sane helped their team wrap a 2-0 win over newly promoted Darmstadt. The victory lifted the 'Royal Blues' to fifth in the standings.
Stuttgart substitute Artem Kravets provided his side a last grasp 2-1 winner over Hamburg whilst Augsburg and Frankfurt shared the points after goal-less 90 minutes.