Borussia Dortmund 2 Hoffenheim 1: Pulisic late show extends perfect Stoger start

Borussia Dortmund looked set to suffer its first loss under Peter Stoger, but turned things around with Christian Pulisic grabbing the winner.

Published : Dec 17, 2017 09:48 IST

Christian Pulisic showed why he was voted as the US Soccer men's Player of the Year.
Christian Pulisic showed why he was voted as the US Soccer men's Player of the Year.

Christian Pulisic showed why he was voted as the US Soccer men's Player of the Year.

Christian Pulisic's superb late goal maintained Peter Stoger's fine start at Borussia Dortmund as it climbed to third in the Bundesliga with a 2-1 victory against Hoffenheim.

After a run of one win in 13 in all competitions, Dortmund triumphed 2-0 at Mainz in Stoger's first game in charge and a second success followed here thanks to a late rally.

Read: Stoger's tenure begins with a win

Julian Nagelsmann's Hoffenheim - leading through Mark Uth's first-half opener - had looked set for a deserved away win until Stefan Posch's rash challenge allowed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to level from the spot.

Even then, it appeared Dortmund would extend a winless home run in the Bundesliga to five matches for the first time since 2006, with Hoffenheim pushing for a winner of its own.

Yet Pulisic brilliantly turned the game on its head with one minute of normal time remaining, beating goalkeeper Oliver Baumann with an outstanding touch before converting, and Aubameyang could and should have added a third in stoppage time as he missed an open goal.

The Dortmund supporters were left delighted, though, sending Nagelsmann home pointless following links with the host as Stoger's end-of-season successor.

Read: Pulisic voted youngest-ever male player of the year

Stoger's side could drop two places on Sunday with Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig in action, but he has at least been able to have a much-needed impact before the mid-season break.

Andriy Yarmolenko passed up a golden opportunity to open the scoring for Dortmund early on, pouncing on Florian Grillitsch's slack pass to run clear and drag a finish just wide.

The next chance fell Pulisic's way - this time from Yarmolenko's slipped pass - but the finish lacked power and allowed the scrambling Baumann to gather.

Dortmund's attack has hardly been the problem this season, though, and its defensive frailties became evident once more as soon as the visiting team came forward, with Serge Gnabry's low drive first testing Roman Burki.

The opener then followed for Hoffenheim on the same right flank when Nadiem Amiri teased a pass through the home defence and Pavel Kaderabek squared for Uth to convert.

Jeers met the half-time whistle and Dortmund could have fallen further behind after the restart as the unmarked Amiri volleyed straight at Burki at the end of a fine team move.

But the tide started to turn as the second half wore on; Dortmund found its rhythm and belatedly moved the ball with some urgency, allowing Shinji Kagawa to win a penalty as Posch desperately lunged in to halt a dangerous move.

Aubameyang calmly slotted away the spot-kick, but the momentum swiftly shifted back the other way as Hoffenheim sought a winner.

And yet, after Kaderabek curled an effort wide, there would be another twist. With just over a minute of normal time left on the clock, Pulisic controlled magnificently to nudge the ball beyond Baumann and tap into the net.

Baumann was further embarrassed in stoppage time, too, but it was Aubameyang who was left holding his head after closing down the goalkeeper's clearance and then nodding hopelessly across the face of a gaping goal. It mattered little and Dortmund celebrated a dramatic win.

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