Knauff bags first goal to give Dortmund win at Stuttgart

Borussia Dortmund teenager Ansgar Knauff fired in an 80th minute winner as Dortmund beat Stuttgart 3-2.

Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham celebrates after Marco Reus’s goal.   -  Reuters

Borussia Dortmund teenager Ansgar Knauff fired in an 80th-minute winner for his first professional goal to give his team a 3-2 victory at VfB Stuttgart on Saturday and maintain the club’s slim hopes of a top-four finish.

MATCH CENTRE

Germany youth international Knauff, in his third league appearance, picked up the ball on the edge of the box and audaciously threaded his shot past two defenders and the goalkeeper to secure the win that lifted Dortmund to 46 points in fifth place.

Eintracht Frankfurt is in fourth on 53 following its 4-3 win over third-placed VfL Wolfsburg, with six games left in the season and the top four finishers qualifying automatically for next season’s Champions League group stage.

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It was a memorable week for 19-year-old Knauff after he also earned his first start in Dortmund’s 2-1 Champions League quarterfinal loss to Manchester City on Tuesday.

‘Amazing week’

“It was an amazing week with my first ever start and my first Bundesliga goal,” Knauff said. “I am happy and hope this keeps going. I came on, did my best and really wanted to win the game. I am happy that it worked,” said the winger, who was brought on in the 67th minute.

Goals from Jude Bellingham - also his first in the Bundesliga - and Marco Reus in the 47th and 52nd minutes gave Dortmund, which hosts City in the second leg on Wednesday, a 2-1 lead after the host had gone in front thanks to Sasa Kalajdzic’s looping first-half header.

Daniel Didavi then fired in a 78th-minute equaliser for Stuttgart but its joy lasted only two minutes when Knauff snatched the winner.

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