Bremen goalkeeper denies Dortmund 2nd place in Bundesliga
BERLIN (AP) — Borussia Dortmund failed to reclaim second place in the Bundesliga after being held 1-1 Sunday by Werder Bremen.
Bremen goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka produced a host of excellent saves, especially in the second half, to keep Dortmund two points behind second-place Schalke with two rounds to go. Both teams look set to play in the Champions League next season with fifth-place Bayer Leverkusen four points behind Dortmund. The top four qualify.
Dortmund’s Marco Reus, who hopes to be selected for Germany’s World Cup squad, scored in the 19th minute when he let fly on a half-volley after Maximilian Philipp’s effort was blocked.
Reus should have scored again before the break after being played through by Mario Goetze - another player hoping to nail down a World Cup place - but failed to get the better of Pavlenka, who pushed his effort beyond the post.
At the other end, Bremen scored when Thomas Delaney headed the rebound over Roman Buerki after the Dortmund ’keeper blocked Maximilian Eggestein’s first effort.
Dortmund came close after the break when Jadon Sancho’s effort was deflected onto the post, Pavlenka tipped Manuel Akanji’s shot onto the crossbar, and Sancho again hit the crossbar after Pavlenka saved from Andre Schuerrle.
“He played a great game,” Dortmund’s Julian Weigl said. “It’s annoying for us.”
Pavlenka denied Schuerrle again with five minutes remaining, and Reus fired the last chance just over.
Mainz struck a major blow in its fight for survival with a 3-0 win over Leipzig.
Pablo De Blasis’ first-half penalty put Mainz on track for its seventh home win of the season, Alexandru Maxim sealed the result with five minutes remaining, and Ridle Baku took advantage of a mistake from Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano to complete the scoring on his Bundesliga debut.
Mainz moved three points clear of Wolfsburg, which dropped into the relegation zone. Wolfsburg occupies the relegation playoff place, two points above Hamburger SV in an automatic relegation spot.
Last-place Cologne was relegated on Saturday.
Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita was sent off with his second yellow card in injury time and will miss the side’s next game against Wolfsburg.
Leipzig has now failed to win in four Bundesliga games.