Football breathes again

Sport

Football breathes again

Haaland shines in Dortmund romp as Bundesliga football returns

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!


BERLIN, Germany (AFP) — Norwegian sensation Erling Braut Haaland stole the limelight yesterday as the German Bundesliga became the first major European football league to return since the 2019 coronavirus lockdown, with teams playing in empty, echoing stadiums.

The 19-year-old striker claimed the first goal in Germany's top flight for over two months to set Borussia Dortmund on the way to a 4-0 win over their local rivals Schalke.

Portuguese international Raphael Guerreiro then added two goals either side of a Thorgan Hazard strike as second-placed Dortmund moved to within a point of leaders Bayern Munich, who are chasing an eighth-straight title and play Union Berlin away today.

Haaland steered a low Thorgan Hazard cross into the far corner on 29 minutes to claim his 10th goal in just nine Bundesliga matches.

It was his 41st goal this season in all competitions and his 13th for Dortmund in just 12 games since joining in January from Red Bull Salzburg.

He celebrated by dancing alone making no contact with teammates, who clapped him on - to comply with the strict hygiene guidelines which allowed the league to return.

In front of empty terraces and no more than 300 people allowed into Signal Iduna Park, which is normally packed with almost 82,000 fans, Guerreiro added Dortmund's second goal just before half-time following an error by Schalke goalkeeper Markus Schubert.

Haaland played a role in the build-up to the third goal before Julian Brandt set up Hazard to fire home on 48 minutes.

Schalke looked short of match fitness, while Dortmund were sharper and Guerreiro grabbed his second in style after a one-two with Haaland in the 63rd minute.

Elsewhere, third-placed RB Leipzig were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Freiburg, leaving them four points off the top spot.

Defender Manuel Gulde gave visitors Freiburg a shock lead and celebrated by elbow-bumping teammates, before Leipzig striker Yussuf Poulsen grabbed a late equaliser. Freiburg were then denied a stoppage-time winner when a video assistant referee (VAR) check spotted a marginal offside.

In a late match, Borussia Moenchengladbach can move up past Leipzig if they win at Eintracht Frankfurt.

Bruno Labbadia, who replaced Jurgen Klinsmann as coach during the lockdown, made a winning start as Hertha Berlin had a 3-0 win at Hoffenheim.

The goals came in quick succession with a Kevin Akpoguma own goal being followed by Hertha captain, Vedad Ibisevic, grabbing a second before the Brazilian Matheus Cunha danced past defenders on the way to making it 3-0.

In order to get the political green light to resume this weekend, the German Football League (DFL) has tested players and coaches regularly for the virus, and teams have been in quarantine for the past week.

Players and staff must follow stringent hygiene guidelines.

Teams arrived at stadiums in several buses in order to meet social distancing requirements inside vehicles.

Although Germany has suffered far fewer deaths from coronavirus than other large European countries, it is still too dangerous for crowds to return.

The DFL has made no secret of the fact that several clubs are already in a dire financial situation as a result of the lockdown.

If they are able to complete the nine remaining rounds of matches by June 30, clubs could receive around 300 million euros (US$324 million) in money from television contracts.

Clubs in England, Spain, and Italy, where leagues are weeks away from returning, will be watching to see how the weekend goes.

The Bundesliga has been expecting millions of extra fans to watch coverage worldwide.

In Germany, there were concerns that fans would try to approach stadiums to support their teams from afar. Police in Dortmund appealed to fans to stay at home and broadcaster Sky reported it was quiet outside the ground.

Some players and coaches have already fallen foul of the rules.

Augsburg's new coach, Heiko Herrlich had ruled himself out of his side's 2-1 home defeat against Wolfsburg after leaving the team hotel to buy toothpaste.

While Herrlich was criticised, there was sympathy for Union coach Urs Fischer after he broke quarantine following a family bereavement.

It means he must miss his side's clash with Bayern.

Ex-Chelsea striker Salomon Kalou, 34, was suspended by Hertha for shaking hands with teammates.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT