AUGSBURG, Germany – Striker Sebastian Haller scored twice as Borussia Dortmund beat 10-man Augsburg 3-0 on Sunday to take control of the Bundesliga title race going into next week’s season finale.
Ivory Coast international Haller, who missed most of the campaign after being diagnosed with testicular cancer in pre-season last July, broke the deadlock in the 58th minute.
He scored his ninth goal of the season with six minutes remaining to seal their win. Julian Brandt completed the win with a goal in stoppage time.
The Ruhr Valley club, whose last title came in 2012 under then-manager Jurgen Klopp, have 70 points, two ahead of Bayern Munich, winners of the last 10 league cups.
The Bavarians lost 3-1 at home to RB Leipzig on Saturday.
“We have suffered and had to sweat a lot, not only this season,” said Dortmund coach Edin Terzic. “Now it’s about taking that last step together with our fans in our stadium in our city and finally bringing the league cup back to Dortmund.”
“This was not a season of missed opportunities, but of failures,” Terzic said. “Now it’s about taking the last step.”
Dortmund host 9th-placed Mainz 05 in their final game, while Bayern hosts 10th-placed Cologne.
“We’re closer this year than we’ve been in a long time,” Terzic said. “We will sleep six more times, hit the gas and hopefully hold the Bundesliga cup in our hands.”
In a one-sided first half, Dortmund had 16 shots on goal for Augsburg and also hit the post through Niklas Suele, but could not find the back of the net even when the hosts were reduced to 10 men after Felix Uduokha was sent off in the 38th.
Emre Can also hit the woodwork after the restart but they finally broke the deadlock through Haller as he headed in off the post.
Augsburg immediately responded with chances of their own, but Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel did well to stop Irwin Cardona’s 10-yard shot.
Haller settled Dortmund’s nerves with a strike and Brandt completed their victory in stoppage time.
“If someone had told me six months ago that I would be in this situation today, I wouldn’t have believed them,” said Haller, who underwent surgery and chemotherapy before returning to action in 2023.
“We have invested a lot and now we have a chance to achieve something big. There is no magic. We are talking about investments. Then it comes.”
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