Brandt scores in his 300th Bundesliga game as Borussia Dortmund blanks Werder Bremen
DORTMUND, Germany (AP) — Julian Brandt celebrated his 300th Bundesliga appearance with a goal Friday to lead Borussia Dortmund to a hard-fought 1-0 win over Werder Bremen.
Dortmund’s relief when referee Felix Brych blew the final whistle was evident given what had happened on Bremen’s last visit in the league. Last season, Dortmund was 2-0 up in the 89th minute before the visitors scored three late goals to win 3-2.
Niclas Füllkrug joined Dortmund from Bremen in the summer transfer window, but the Germany forward went off in the 77th after a quiet performance against his former teammates.
There was a moment of silence before the game for all “innocent victims” of the Israel-Hamas conflict, as well as for the two Swedish victims of a shooting in Brussels on Monday before a European Championship qualifying game. One fan shown on TV was holding a sign with a dove promoting peace.
Dortmund dominated the first half, albeit while struggling to create chances against the visitors’ well-organized defense.
Marco Reus had arguably the best chance after being set up by Brandt, but saw his shot from a difficult angle go just wide of the far post.
Donyell Malen almost make the breakthrough before the interval with a fierce shot that was blocked by Bremen’s reserve goalkeeper Michael Zetterer at the near post.
The second half started late because of spectacular pyrotechnics in the Bremen fans’ section.
Malen missed another chance before Brandt finally made the breakthrough in the 67th with a chip over the goalkeeper after being set up with a perfectly timed pass from Emre Can.
Dortmund remains one of three unbeaten teams in the Bundesliga along with Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich. Leverkusen visits Wolfsburg and Bayern plays in Mainz on Saturday.
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