The Dortmund players danced with joy in front of their curve after the last-minute win - and Sebastien Haller was right in the middle.
The goalscorer, who returned after his cancer, first documented his sporting importance for BVB when he did the preparatory work for Giovanni Reyna's winning goal in added time in the 2-1 (1-1) away game at FSV Mainz 05.
"One always talks about his tumor and not about the fact that he makes us better," said BVB teammate Julian Brandt in praise of the striker, who came into play in the second half. Thanks to the happy success, BVB got rid of its misery away from home in the new year and continued its intended race to catch up in the Bundesliga.
As in the 4:3 win against FC Augsburg on Sunday, Joker Reyna became the match winner and, after five defeats from six guest appearances, provided Dortmund with a sense of achievement again. With 31 points, coach Edin Terzic's team is well represented again in the fight for the Champions League places at the end of the first half of the season.
"We had to work hard to win. We have to believe that we can win a game in the 90th minute. You can build on that, that at some point we'll play the beautiful football that's dormant in us," added Brandt. Mainz, on the other hand, were disappointed, having only won one of their eight home games and occupying a midfield position with 20 points. "It's unfortunate at best. We were a bit better in the second half," said 05 sporting director Martin Schmidt.
Ryerson in focus in the early stages
In the early stages, South Korea's World Cup participant Jae-Sung Lee scored Mainz's fastest goal of the season after less than two minutes, but Dortmund's new signing Julian Ryerson equalized in the fourth minute in front of 31,500 spectators, before BVB even three in the final phase allowed to celebrate points.
The focus in the early stages was Ryerson. When the goal was conceded, the Norwegian, who was signed by Union Berlin for around five million euros, was not close enough to opponent Lee. The full-back made up for his mistake with his first goal in a BVB jersey. His shot was deflected by Edimilson Fernandes and was unstoppable for goalkeeper Finn Dahmen. The keeper again represented the ailing Robin Zentner in the Mainz goal.
Central defense with Süle instead of Hummels
Terzic's wish was to finally get the defensive problems under control after the 4:3 win against FC Augsburg on Sunday was at times wild. But after less than 100 seconds, Gregor Kobel was defeated again in the BVB goal. Terzic had changed his central defense. This time national player Niklas Süle was allowed to defend for ex-world champion Hummels together with Nico Schlotterbeck.
Süle also got involved in the offensive game and forced Dahmen to make a save with a 30-yard shot (8'). Shortly before that, young national player Youssoufa Moukoko also had a good opportunity (7th). The 18-year-old was allowed to play in the center of the attack again, while Haller, who had recovered from cancer, came on in the second half, just like he did against Augsburg. "His last competitive game before the brief assignment was in May. That's why we're a bit more careful there," Terzic explained the decision on the Sky TV channel. Haller had a good opportunity when he put the ball too far (69').
Mainz more offensive in the second half
The young English star Jude Bellingham, who was serving a yellow card suspension, was sorely missed on the Dortmund side. "If you saw him last weekend, with what passion, with what focus he is on the pitch, then we cannot replace him at all at the moment," said sports director Sebastian Kehl and explained that "there are no inquiries" at the moment. for the young star traded at numerous top clubs.
In the second round, Mainz invested more in the offensive. Marcus Ingvartsen caused danger with a header (60'), while Angelo Fulgini tested the Dortmund keeper (74'). Striker Ludovic Ajorque, signed by Racing Strasburg, made his Bundesliga debut with Mainz in the closing stages. And the Frenchman almost paved the way for the winning goal when he staged Anton Stach. The 24-year-old just missed the goal. That should pay off.