Mario Gomez continued his prolific season by scoring both goals as leaders Bayern Munich came from behind to win 2-1 at 10-man VfB Stuttgart on Sunday.
The Bundesliga’s top scorer took his tally to 15 goals in the Bundesliga and 23 in all competitions as Bayern extended their lead at the top of the table.
Seventh-placed Stuttgart played two thirds of the game with 10 men after Cristian Molinaro was sent off, although they still could have snatched a late equalizer.
Defending champions Borussia Dortmund lost ground when they again let a first-half lead slip and they were held 1-1 at home by lowly Kaiserslautern, completing three games without a victory in just over a week.
Stuttgart went ahead in the sixth minute when Molinaro’s cross was headed down by Martin Harnik for Christian Gentner to fire his shot past Manuel Neuer.
They enjoyed the lead for only seven minutes until Gomez got in front of his marker to turn Rafinha’s cross from the right into the net.
Molinaro was given a second yellow card for a late tackle on Arjen Robben in the 29th minute and Gomez struck the winner when he turned in Philipp Lahm’s pass just before the hour.
Bayern did not have it all their own way and Stuttgart nearly leveled when Cacau intercepted Daniel van Buyten’s attempted headed pass to Neuer, but the Brazilian-born forward could not keep his shot down.
A superb Olcay Sahan strike gave Kaiserslautern a surprise point in the earlier match where, as in their previous two matches, Dortmund scored first, only to see their efforts undone after halftime.
Held to a 1-1 draw by Borussia Moenchengladbach last weekend and beaten 3-2 at home by Olympique de Marseille in the Champions League in midweek, Dortmund went ahead through Shinji Kagawa in the 27th minute.
Kaiserslautern leveled on the hour when Lukasz Piszczek mis-directed a headed clearance and the ball fell to Sahan, who fired a dipping volley beyond bemused goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller.
The visitors nearly snatched a win when Itay Shechter’s header was stopped on the line by Weidenfeller and, although the Israeli forced over the rebound, his effort was disallowed for a foul on the goalkeeper.
Mario Goetze then rattled the bar for Dortmund.
As they celebrated Naomi Osaka’s victory in the final of the US Open in New York City’s Flushing Meadows on Saturday, Tokyoites were eager to embrace their heroines’ stand against racial injustice. Osaka, who won her third Grand Slam title with a victory over Victoria Azarenka, has used her platform to support the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, wearing a mask bearing the name of a different African American before each of her seven matches in the championship. She had donned masks bearing the names of Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, George Floyd and Philando Castile. On Saturday, she walked
KEY GOAL: Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei is now free to focus on taking her fourth doubles title of the year with Barbora Strycova; they are due to face Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya Taiwanese No. 1 Hsieh Su-wei on Monday returned to the court for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the WTA Tour, falling to a 6-3, 6-1 defeat to US Open quarter-finalist Elise Mertens, who made a solid transition from the hard courts in New York to the clay at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. “I’m not sure how well I adapted, to be honest,” Mertens told the WTA Web site. “I just feel like I might still be struggling a little. It was also [Hsieh’s] first match of the week, so that was a bit of an
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7
THOROUGH THRASHING: Hualien City beat Taichung Blue Whale 2-1, ending their three-year winning streak with one round of matches left and eight points to spare Hualien City on Saturday clinched this year’s Taiwan Mulan Football League title with one game to spare, by beating Taichung Blue Whale 2-1 at Fu Jen Catholic University in New Taipei City. Hualien City have scored 38 points this season. Blue Whale are second on the scoreboard with 30 points, while Taipei Bravo are third with 23 points. One final round of matches is to be played on Saturday. It is the fourth league trophy for Hualien City, and ends Blue Whale’s three-year winning streak. Hualien had won the title from 2014 to 2016. Both teams defended well, leaving few chances in front