New signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang enjoyed a dream Bundesliga debut on Saturday, scoring a hat-trick to steer last year’s runners-up Borussia Dortmund to a 4-0 win at Augsburg in their first league match of the season.
The weekend was also marked by controversy as TSG 1899 Hoffenheim were denied a Kevin Volland goal in their 2-2 draw against Nuremberg, despite replays showing that the ball crossed the line before bouncing out.
The incident is bound to raise the issue of goal-line technology in Germany, which the country’s soccer federation has said it will not use until at least 2015.
Gabon international Aubameyang, who joined from France’s AS Saint-Etienne for a reported 13 million euros (US$17.36 million) last month, put the visitors ahead with a diving header in the 24th minute and slotted home from the left midway through the second half.
The 24-year-old completed his remarkable debut by picking up a superb Robert Lewandowski pass to round Augsburg goalkeeper Mohamed Amsif 11 minutes from time.
“That was a super start for me,” a beaming Aubameyang said. “The intensity in the league here is much higher than in France. Our aim is to work hard and see what is possible in this season.”
Poland international Lewandowski, who had wanted to move to Bayern Munich, but saw the transfer blocked by his club, got onto the score sheet himself with an 86th minute penalty.
“I told my players it would be tough and there are not many teams who will win 4-0 here,” Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp said.
“We scored some great goals and finished off the game,” he added.
Hertha BSC made a sensational return to top flight soccer in front of a 55,000 home crowd in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, crushing Eintracht Frankfurt 6-1, with Sami Allagui scoring two goals in two minutes and Adrian Ramos adding two of his own.
Hertha also hit the woodwork three times in the first half. Champions League participants Bayer 04 Leverkusen, third last season, struck twice early in the second half in a 3-1 win over SC Freiburg, who had canceled out Stefan Kiessling’s opener with a Mike Hanke goal just before the break.
Two goals from South Korea’s Heung Min-son and Sidney Sam in the 46th and 52nd minute killed off Freiburg’s hopes of a point.
Hanover 96 beat nine-man VfL Wolfsburg 2-0 after the visitors had Maximilian Arnold and Timm Klose sent off.
Promoted Eintracht Braunschweig’s return to the Bundesliga after 28 years was spoiled by a 1-0 Werder Bremen win, with Zlatko Junuzovic snatching the goal eight minutes from time.
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
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
‘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
Neymar on Sunday claimed that he had been the victim of racism as he was one of five players sent off in a mass brawl at the end of Olympique de Marseille’s 1-0 win over Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain. PSG’s Brazilian star appeared to accuse Alvaro Gonzalez of calling him a “monkey” in a series of furious tweets after he was sent off in stoppage-time for slapping the Marseille defender on the back of the head. “Look at the racism. That’s why I hit him,” Neymar, who was returning from COVID-19 quarantine, said as he left the pitch. “The only regret I