Defending champions Borussia Dortmund kicked off the 50th season of the Bundesliga on Friday with a 2-1 home win over Werder Bremen thanks to goals from Germany stars Marco Reus and Mario Goetze.
Dortmund and Bremen contested the first Bundesliga match back in 1963 and it was the same pair who opened the 2012-2013 season on Friday night at Borussia’s sold-out Signal Iduna Park Stadium in front of 80,645 spectators.
New signings opened the scoring for both clubs as Reus fired home in the first-half for Dortmund, while Bremen’s Czech Republic defender Theodor Gebre Selassie headed the equalizer 15 minutes from time.
However, Goetze grabbed the winner for the hosts just three minutes after coming off the bench.
“The way it happened didn’t impress me or a few others, but the most important thing was to start with the three points,” Dortmund defender Mats Hummels said.
Reus said he was just delighted to have made his debut.
“I had goosebumps when I ran out and I am happy that I am now a Dortmund player,” the 23-year-old said. “I think the opening goal was really important for the team.”
Dortmund last lost in the league almost a year ago when they suffered a 2-1 defeat at Hanover on Sept. 18, and this was their 29th game without losing in the Bundesliga. They are just seven matches short of Hamburg’s record of 36 matches set in 1982 and 1983.
It was 1-0 at the break on Friday with Reus needing only 11 minutes to show his class.
Poland captain Jakub Blaszczykowski flicked the ball through for Reus, who joined from Moenchengladbach at the end of last season, to drill the ball into the far corner.
Reus was brought in to fill the vacant attacking midfielder spot in the wake of Shinji Kagawa’s move to Machester United.
Bremen came back as new signing Dutch striker Eljero Elia was only denied by a fine save from Roman Weidenfeller before Austrian striker Marko Arnautovic slammed a shot against the post.
After the break, Dortmund turned up the pressure as Germany defender Hummels rose highest from a corner, but Bremen goalkeeper Sebastian Mielitz palmed the ball over the bar.
Dortmund were punished from some sloppy defending when Gebre Selassie put in a looping header over Weidenfeller on 75 minutes to give Bremen hope, but the champions reacted by taking the lead again just six minutes later when Goetze slotted home the winner. The 20-year-old gratefully accepted a pass from Poland striker Robert Lewandowski and held off the defense to score.
Bayern Munich were to start their league campaign yesterday at promoted Greuther Fuerth, who were to make their debut in the Bundesliga, while Schalke 04 are at Hanover 96 today.
APPROPRIATE RESPONSE: The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan expressed ‘sincere regret’ for publishing the image on its in-house magazine and Web site A satirical mock-up depicting the Tokyo Games logo as the novel coronavirus has been pulled from online after Olympic organizers branded it “insensitive” and said that it infringed copyright. The design combines the distinctive, spiky image of the coronavirus cell with the blue-and-white Tokyo Games logo. It appeared on the cover of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan’s magazine. The Tokyo Games have been postponed until next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left hundreds of thousands of people dead and halted sport worldwide. Club president Khaldon Azhari yesterday said that the club had decided to withdraw the image and remove
The COVID-19 pandemic has stalled young Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas’ burgeoning career, but he remains philosophical about the tennis shutdown. The world No. 6 would have been preparing for the French Open that was originally scheduled to start this weekend, but was postponed to September. While he is missing life on the ATP Tour, Tsitsipas believes that the lockdown has given the planet a breather. “I actually think they should put us in lockdown once a year — it’s good for nature, it’s good for our planet,” Tsitsipas said in an Instagram Live conversation for At Home With Babsi on Eurosport’s Instagram page. “I
Uncertainty grips next year’s postponed Tokyo Olympic Games: Will there be fans or empty stadiums in 14 months? How will thousands of athletes, staff members and technical officials travel, be housed and stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic? And the Tokyo Games are not the only event. China, where COVID-19 was first detected, is to hold three mega-sports events in the year after the Tokyo Olympics are set to close. The World University Games in Chengdu, China, are to open, with up to 8,000 athletes, only 10 days after the Tokyo Games close. Next come the Beijing Winter Olympics beginning on Feb. 4, 2022,
When South Korea’s domestic women’s golf tour held its premier event last week — without spectators because of the COVID-19 pandemic — no fewer than three of the world’s top 10 players took part. The country of 52 million people has a disproportionate share of the women’s world golf rankings, providing eight of the current top 20. In a demonstration of their prominence, South Korean women have won at least one major every season since 2010, with coronavirus cancellations perhaps the biggest threat to their run this year. The phenomenon, players and commentators have said, results from driven parents, intense training, a highly