WWK Arena, Daniel Pinder – A sea of yellow descended on Augsburg on Sunday afternoon as Borussia Dortmund moved two points clear of Bayern Munich with one game remaining. Die Schwarzgelben are going after their first Bundesliga title in 11 years and after Bayern Munich’s defeat and Dortmund’s win, they are in control of their own destiny.
Against a resilient Augsburg, Dortmund were made to work. Even after FCA’s Felix Uduokhai was shown a red card after 38 minutes. As the hosts sat deep, Dortmund probed but they were unable to break through a deep block. Perhaps it was a worst case scenario for Edin Terzic and Co. The pressure was on knowing that three points were a must after Bayern’s 3-1 defeat against RB Leipzig 24 hours prior. But, Dortmund passed the test and in the end ran out 3-0 winners with a brace from Sebastien Haller before Julian Brandt added a third in stoppage time and thus, their incredible story continues.
People had written Dortmund off when they suffered a 3-2 defeat against Werder Bremen at the Westfalenstadion back in August when they were 2-0 up. And again when they were in control against Stuttgart in April when despite Gio Reyna scoring in added time, Silas scored an equaliser to make it 3-3 in the sixth minute of stoppage time.
But now, when it matters, Dortmund are showing maturity. Even without Jude Bellingham on Sunday, Dortmund played like Bundesliga champions. And what an incredible story it’s been this season. Haller, who only returned in January following a cancer diagnosis, scored the opening goal that would put Dortmund above Bayern. The French-Ivorian continues to write his fairytale and is showing incredible fight and determination. There perhaps won’t be a goal as important as his opening goal against FCA.
Karim Adeyemi excelled, Donyell Malen finally looks at home and Brandt is playing some of his best football this season. Despite accepting a substitute role, let’s not downplay the role of captain Marco Reus, either. He came on at a crucial moment on Sunday, and changed Dortmund’s complexity.
And if Edin Terzic, born in Menden just on the outskirts of Dortmund, lifts the Bundesliga title in his first full season in charge. He too will go down in folklore. But post-match, he was also quick to remind the traveling support that there is still one game to go, and that Mainz would indeed prove yet another difficult test.
One game. One win. Borussia Dortmund are in control of their own destiny.
GGFN | Daniel Pinder