BERLIN: Erling Haaland scored twice, including a spectacular lob, as Borussia Dortmund emerged with a hard-fought 4-2 win over Union Berlin in the Bundesliga on Sunday which lifted them to within a point of leaders Bayern Munich and Vfl Wolfsburg.
The 21-year-old Norwegian grabbed Dortmund’s second goal in the 24th minute and secured the result in the 83rd just after Union scored for what looked like a nervy finale.
The visitors made a good start in Dortmund, where Taiwo Awoniyi had a first-minute goal ruled out for offside.
There was nothing Union could do about Raphael Guerreiro’s opening goal in the 10th, when the Portugal defender let fly with a spectacular volley over goalkeeper Andreas Luthe and inside the far corner.
Thomas Meunier set up Dortmund’s second as Haaland beat two Union defenders to reach the Belgian’s cross. It got worse for Union early in the second half with an own-goal from captain Marvin Friedrich, who was trying to cut out Marco Reus cross in the 52nd.
Max Kruse pulled one back with a penalty in the 58th and Andreas Voglsammer rewarded Union’s efforts with a header from a corner in the 81st.
However, Haaland sealed the win two minutes later, when he latched onto a deep Mats Hummels cross some 25 metres out, saw keeper Andreas Luthe off his line and lobbed the ball high over him to restore order with a remarkable finish.
It was Haaland’s 11th goal from seven games across all competitions for Dortmund this season.
Dortmund’s third league win in a row lifted them to 12 points, one behind leaders Bayern.
Wolfsburg slipped to second place, on goal difference, after drawing 1-1 against Eintracht Frankfurt, the first points the Wolves have dropped after four straight league wins this season.
Wolfsburg fell behind when Frankfurt striker Sam Lammers curled his shot inside the post and beyond the reach of home goalkeeper Koen Casteels just before the break.
Wolfsburg striker Wout Weghorst slammed his fists into the turf after firing a golden chance over the bar, but made amends by putting the hosts level 20 minutes from time, firing in from a tight angle after Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp parried Lucas Waldschmidt’s shot.
Wolfsburg had the ball in the net in added time when Weghorst’s header bounced off Lukas Nmecha and crossed the line, but the goal was ruled offside.
Earlier, teenager Florian Wirtz inspired Bayer Leverkusen to a 3-1 win at VfB Stuttgart despite the visitors playing with only 10 men for an hour after Robert Andrich was sent off for a first-half red card.
Wirtz, already a full Germany international who turned 18 last May, slotted home Leverkusen’s third goal to kill off Stuttgart’s fightback after Andrich saw red with only 30 minutes played.
Leverkusen raced into a 2-0 lead after goals by Andrich and Patrik Schick, but Stuttgart pulled one back by Belgium attacking midfielder Orel Mangala before Wirtz grabbed the winner 20 minutes from time.
The win lifts Leverkusen to fourth in the table, three points behind Bayern, while Stuttgart are down in 14th with just four points from their first five games.
Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2021