‘Bayern have it all to lose — we can only win’: Dortmund eye final day drama

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Fortuna Dusseldorf's Matthias Zimmermann in action with Borussia Dortmund's Christian Pulisic at the Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany, on May 11, 2019. (REUTERS/Leon Kuegeler)
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Dortmund's Mario Goetze, center right, celebrates after scoring his side's third goal during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and Fortuna Duesseldorf in Dortmund, Germany, on May 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Updated 12 May 2019

‘Bayern have it all to lose — we can only win’: Dortmund eye final day drama

  • Dortmund must now beat Favre’s former club Borussia Moenchengladbach next Saturday
  • Hopes that Bayern slip up at home to Eintracht Frankfurt next Saturday

BERLIN: Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has said that the pressure is now on league leaders Bayern Munich after his side bounced back in the Bundesliga title race on Saturday.
Bayern missed the chance to wrap up a seventh successive title when they were held to a 0-0 draw at RB Leipzig, while Dortmund beat Fortuna Duesseldorf 3-2 to keep themselves in the running until the final round of games next weekend.
“We have given the Bundesliga a final on the last day,” said Watzke. “That is good for the league and we are proud of that.”
“We have been under brutal pressure, but now the pressure is heading south.”
“Bayern have it all to lose, we can only win.”
Having held a nine-point lead at the top of the table in December, Dortmund looked down and out after they slipped four points behind Bayern last weekend.
Yet they battled their way through a nervous game against Duesseldorf to haul themselves back into the race.
“We need to control the game better toward the end and stay calmer,” coach Lucien Favre told Sky, after his team survived a frantic last few minutes.
Dortmund must now beat Favre’s former club Borussia Moenchengladbach next Saturday, and hope that Bayern slip up at home to Eintracht Frankfurt.
“We have to give everything to win in Gladbach,” said Favre.
Bayern, meanwhile, were left to rue a missed opportunity after they were held in Leipzig.
They came within inches of securing the title on Saturday. Leon Goretzka’s second-half goal was ruled out after VAR ruled that Robert Lewandowski’s foot was in an offside position.
Bayern president Uli Hoeness called the offside decision “a joke,” but CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said that Bayern were happy with a point.
“We would rather have won the title today, but the result does not put us in a worse position,” he told Sky.
“In Frankfurt, we face a team who have had a very good season, but we have a good chance to win the championship.”
Bayern have home advantage against Frankfurt next Saturday, and the chance to be crowned champions in the Allianz Arena for the first time ever.
The Munich giants have not secured the title on home turf since 2000, despite having won 12 Bundesliga crowns since then.
Bayern coach Niko Kovac also faces his former club next Saturday, and told Sky that he still talks to his former Frankfurt colleagues.
“I still have contact to one or two players and a lot of contact to the officials there,” said Kovac.
“We will need passion and the will to win next week.”


Saudi Arabia’s footballers given heroes’ welcome on arrival in Palestine for World Cup qualifier

Updated 13 October 2019

Saudi Arabia’s footballers given heroes’ welcome on arrival in Palestine for World Cup qualifier

  • Green Falcons’ decision to play the AFC World Cup qualifier in Palestine was met with praise
  • Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas received Yasser Al-Mishal, the president of the Saudi Football Federation

RAMALLAH, Palestine: The Saudi Arabian national team arrived in Ramallah on Sunday ahead of their 2022 World Cup qualifying match against Palestine to a heroes’ welcome.

Earlier this month, the Green Falcons’ decision to play the AFC World Cup qualifier in Palestine was met with praise from those within the Palestinian authority.

Jibril Rajoub, the head of the Palestinian Football Federation, told Arab News on Oct. 5 that the visit of the Saudi team has a historic and significant meaning for Palestinians.

And their arrival was met with fanfare from fans and authorities alike.

As the team arrived, the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas received Yasser Al-Mishal, the president of the Saudi Football Federation and offered a heartfelt welcome to the official and the Saudi team.

A video dedication as a message of thanks from the Palestinian people to the Saudi players was also released on Twitter.

Saudi Arabia face Palestine in Group D of the Asian section of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup having beaten Singapore and securing a draw against Yemen after two games.

Palestine, meanwhile, scored a shock 2-0 win over Uzbekistan in their first game before going down to Singapore away from home.

The match will be played at the Faisal Al-Husseini International Stadium in Al-Ram on Tuesday.