Bundesliga leader Borussia Dortmund’s title chances suffered a serious blow on Friday after it stumbled to a 1-1 draw at struggling VfL Bochum in the mini Ruhr derby.
With four games left to play, Dortmund is on 61 points, two points clear of second-placed Bayern Munich, who will take over the lead if it beats bottom club Hertha Berlin on Sunday.
Dortmund looked far from serious contenders, chasing its first Bundesliga title in 11 years, struggling to break down a solid Bochum defence.
It also was left fuming with the referee and VAR following two claims for penalties late in the game.
“It is very bitter for us. It was an intense game but we had our chances,” said Dortmund coach Edin Terzic.
“I am sorry for my tone and my emotions but I said it last week that for us and also for me this is maybe the only chance in our lives to get so close to the title.”
“Then you have such decisions when so much is at stake. The only thing I asked the referees was to look at it again.”
The visitors found themselves 1-0 down after five minutes following Anthony Losilla’s thunderous strike from just outside the box.
Yet Bochum’s joy only lasted two minutes as unmarked Karim Adeyemi tapped in at the far post for the equaliser.
But the goal failed to inject any sense of urgency into Dortmund’s game, with Terzic desperately shouting on from the sidelines.
It thought they had earned a spot kick when Adeyemi was brought down in the box in the 65th minute but the referee waved play on.
Its best chances in the second half came after the introduction of Marco Reus in the 73rd minute, with the midfielder setting up Youssoufa Moukoko, but his effort was parried by Bochum keeper Manuel Riemann.
Riemann pulled off an even better save in the 76th to deny Jude Bellingham before Donyell Malen, who had scored in the previous five games, sent the ball just wide with a sensational back-heel.
Dortmund put the ball in the net in stoppage time but Mats Hummels, who headed home, was offside. The visitors had also wanted a spot kick earlier in the move for a Bochum handball.
With Terzic booked for dissent in stoppage time, Bellingham headed a last-gasp effort wide and Dortmund eventually ran out of time. They will now have to wait for Sunday’s result in Munich to find out how their title chances look.
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