Dortmund relief as Haaland scores late to beat Dusseldorf

Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Braut Haaland scores their first goal, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in Dusseldorf, Germany. (Reuters)
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Updated 14 June 2020

Dortmund relief as Haaland scores late to beat Dusseldorf

  • Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga title celebrations ‘put on ice;’ Union Berlin beat Cologne 2-1

BERLIN: Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga title celebrations were put on ice after Erling Haaland scored in the 5th minute of injury time for Borussia Dortmund to beat Fortuna Dusseldorf 1-0 on Saturday.

Dortmund’s last-gasp win cut the gap behind Bayern to 4 points ahead of the 7-time defending champion’s late game against visiting Borussia Mönchengladbach. Just three rounds remain after this weekend.

Dortmund labored for long periods in Dusseldorf, where Achraf Hakimi missed the visitors’ biggest chance in a one-on-one with goalkeeper Florian Kastenmeier, who also had little difficulty dealing with Julian Brandt’s effort.

Raphael Guerreiro thought he’d equalized in the 65th, when he finished off a counterattack with a volley past Kastenmeier. However, the goal was ruled out through VAR after he was adjudged to have controlled the ball with his arm.

Dusseldorf substitute Steven Skrzybski struck the post twice in the closing stages.

But it was to be another substitute, the 19-year-old Haaland, who powered home a header from Manuel Akanji’s cross in the 95th minute to keep alive Dortmund’s slim title hopes. Bayern’s goal difference is vastly superior to Dortmund’s so a draw would have been little use to Lucien Favre’s side.

The Swiss coach appeared to injure himself in the celebrations.

Last-placed Paderborn was virtually relegated in a 5-1 defeat at home to Werder Bremen, which moved just behind Dusseldorf on goal difference. Dusseldorf is 3rd from bottom in the relegation playoff place. Paderborn has 20 points, while Bremen and Dusseldorf have 28.

Also, Hertha Berlin was to rue Dedryck Boyata’s sending off before the break as Eintracht Frankfurt came from behind to win 4-1, while city rival Union Berlin boosted its survival hopes beating Cologne 2-1.

Also, Freiburg came from behind to draw in Wolfsburg 2-2.


Bucks’ Antetokounmpo named NBA MVP for second straight year

Updated 47 min 13 sec ago

Bucks’ Antetokounmpo named NBA MVP for second straight year

  • The 25-year-old became just the third player in history to earn MVP and Defensive Player of the Year honors in the same season, after Michael Jordan in 1988 and Hakeem Olajuwon in 1994
  • The MVP award carries a bittersweet tinge after the top-seeded Bucks fell in five games to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals

LOS ANGELES: Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo said Friday he’ll treasure his second straight NBA Most Valuable Player award and redouble his efforts to capture a league crown.
The 25-year-old from Greece became just the third player in history to earn MVP and Defensive Player of the Year honors in the same season, after Michael Jordan in 1988 and Hakeem Olajuwon in 1994.
“Michael Jordan, one of the best players who’s ever done it, if not the best,” Antetokounmpo said, speaking from a rooftop in Athens during the televised announcement of the award. “Hakeem, a guy that I look up to, he came from where I’m from, Nigeria, where I have roots.
“Just being in the same sentence with them, that means a lot to me.”
The player dubbed the “Greek Freak” became the 12th player to win back-to-back MVPs, joining Jordan, Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Steve Nash, Tim Duncan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Moses Malone, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell.
But, once again, the MVP award carries a bittersweet tinge after the top-seeded Bucks fell in five games to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals in the quarantine bubble in Orlando, Florida.
Last year, Antetokounmpo won the MVP only for eventual champion Toronto to oust the Bucks in the Eastern Conference finals.
“Obviously I would love to be still in the bubble playing games, fighting,” Antetokounmpo said. “But at the end of the day I won the award. I’m extremely blessed.
“It’s been a long journey,” Antetokounmpo added. “The people that know me, the people that know my story, you can never take these moments for granted.”
Antetokounmpo won in a landslide, receiving 85 first-place votes from a global panel of sports reporters and broadcasters, the league announced on Friday.
Los Angeles Lakers star James received 16 first-place votes and the third finalist, James Harden of the Houston Rockets, did not receive any first-place votes.
The voting was based on performance from the start of the season through March 11, when play was shut down in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
It did not included the “seeding games” played when teams in contention for playoff spots once play resumed in Orlando.
Antetokounmpo averaged 29.5 points, 13.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists in leading the Bucks to the best regular-season record in the pandemic-disrupted season.
But he had to watch from the sidelines as the Heat won game five of their semifinal series, nursing a sprained ankle suffered in game three and aggravated in game four.
“Obviously, I am disappointed to not be able to help our team go to the third round,” he said. “That feeling cannot take away from this award.
“I’m happy for this award, but I want more,” he said. “I want to be a champion.”
As a veteran entering his eighth season, Antetokounmpo will be eligible to receive a supermax contract extension from the Bucks.
The Bucks reportedly plan to extend that offer as soon as they can — after the 2019-20 season officially ends.
There has been widespread speculation as to whether a player of Antetokounmpo’s stature will be happy to remain in the small market of Milwaukee.
He met with Bucks owners including Marc Lasry before heading to Greece and has indicated he’d be open to staying.
Providing he’s convinced the team is determined to invest the resources to pursue a title, Antetokounmpo said Friday, “I don’t see why not to be in Milwaukee for the next 15 years.”