Borussia Dortmund on Sunday clinched a 4-3 thriller at home against Augsburg as Sebastien Haller returned to the team after battling testicular cancer.
Dortmund took the lead three times, only for Augsburg to equalize, exploiting the hosts’ disorganized defense.
Dortmund manager Edin Terzic brought on Jamie Bynoe-Gittens and Gio Reyna in the 70th minute, with both wingers scoring goals to help carry their team to victory.
Terzic praised his team’s resilience in a “wild, chaotic match.”
“I’m happy we still won the game with all the setbacks. The positive thing is that we fought back,” he said.
Augsburg coach Enrico Maassen said his side, who are just one place above the relegation playoff spot, could take positives from the “annoying” result.
“We played a huge game. We will get our points if we play like this,” Maassen said.
Dortmund had the better of the early proceedings before Jude Bellingham broke through in the 29th minute. The 19-year-old Englishman collected the ball on the edge of the penalty area and sent the Augsburg defenders the wrong way, before drilling a low shot into the corner of the net.
Despite Dortmund’s dominance of possession, Augsburg hit back in the 40th minute when Dion Beljo dispossessed a sloppy Nico Schlotterbeck before passing to Arne Maier, who hammered home.
Schlotterbeck redeemed himself immediately, heading in a Julian Brandt free-kick to put Dortmund up 2-1.
Augsburg equalized in stoppage-time, Ermedin Demirovic chipping over Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel for his sixth goal of the campaign.
Haller came off the bench in the 61st minute to rapturous applause from the home and away fans, his first competitive appearance since May last year.
Haller took to the field wearing boots adorned with the words “F*ck cancer,” celebrating the striker’s return after a six-month battle with the disease.
With the game drifting toward more dropped points for the hosts, Bynoe-Gittens and Reyna were introduced.
Dortmund reclaimed the lead almost immediately, with the 18-year-old Englishman Bynoe-Gittens superbly curling the ball in from outside the penalty area.
Augsburg’s David Colina hit back less than a minute later, but Dortmund reclaimed the lead two minutes after that when US forward Reyna lifted the ball over Rafal Gikiewicz and into the back of the net.
Reyna turned to Dortmund’s famous yellow wall after scoring the winner, putting his fingers in his ears in an apparent gesture referencing the ongoing spat between national team coach Gregg Berhalter and the Reyna family which has engulfed US soccer since the FIFA World Cup.
Terzic lauded Reyna’s resilience, saying “he’s copped so much in the last couple of weeks.”
Dortmund held on in a nervous final few minutes for the three points which moved them into sixth place.
Defender Schlotterbeck, who was at fault for two of Augsburg’s three goals, thanked his team’s attackers for bailing out the side’s shoddy defense.
“Quality up front — and no quality at the back,” the Germany defender told broadcaster DAZN. “I don’t even know whether I should be happy with the win or angry about the three goals conceded.”
In Sunday’s late game, goals from Mitchel Bakker, Amine Adli and Nadiem Amiri lifted Bayer 04 Leverkusen to a 3-2 win at Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Bakker pounced on a deflected shot from Adam Hlozek after 21 minutes, before French winger Adli doubled the visitors’ lead just before halftime.
Amiri replaced Hlozek in the 64th minute, scoring just three minutes later before running to hug Leverkusen manager Xabi Alonso on the sidelines.
Moenchengladbach captain Lars Stindl scored two late goals to keep Leverkusen on their toes, but the visitors held on.
Alonso called for more consistency, telling DAZN: “The performance until the 75th minute was good.”
“It was a bit of a risk in the end. Now we have to move on,” he added.
Teenager Florian Wirtz came off the bench late in the match, his first game since March last year after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament.
Leverkusen’s sixth straight victory over their local rivals continues the team’s stunning resurgence under Alonso.
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