Aubameyang double leads Dortmund past gutsy Ingolstadt
BERLIN: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck twice in the final 13 minutes to earn Borussia Dortmund a nerve-wracking 2-0 victory over promoted Ingolstadt on Saturday and cut the gap on Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich to five points.
The 2015 African player of the year rose high to connect with a Lukasz Piszczek cross and beautifully time his header after Dortmund were frustrated by a tight Ingolstadt defence for much of the game.
The league's leading scorer added a late second with a diagonal shot to take his league goal tally to 20 and lift Dortmund to 44 points. Bayern, on 49, play Hoffenheim on Sunday.
"On days like this you can be happy with a such a scrappy win," Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel, who brought on 17-year-old American Christian Pulisic for his Bundesliga debut in the second half, told reporters.
"We were the luckier team in some situations today," Tuchel said after his side's 14th league win in 19 games.
The hosts had possession and chances galore but struggled against the second-best defence in the Bundesliga.
Despite missing playmaker Ilkay Guendogan and winger Marco Reus who were both out with a virus infection, Dortmund laid siege in the second half but had to wait until the 77th for Gabon international Aubameyang to come to the rescue.
Minutes earlier captain Mats Hummels almost scored a spectacular own goal when he sent a high ball into his own net from about 30 metres out only to have it ruled out for a foul by an Ingolstadt player.
Javier Hernandez also struck twice as Bayer Levekusen climbed back to fourth after beating bottom-placed Hanover 96 3-0.
Stefan Kiessling gave them the lead on the stroke of halftime before Mexican Hernandez converted a 62nd-minute penalty and he struck again in the 87th with his 12th goal of the season.
Leverkusen are on 31 points, three behind third-placed Hertha Berlin, who squandered a two-goal lead to draw 3-3 with Werder Bremen with Peruvian striker Claudio Pizarro scoring twice in two minutes.
Schalke 04 bounced back from last week's loss to Werder to ease past Darmstadt 98 2-0 with goals from Max Meyer and Leroy Sane. The Ruhr valley club are in fifth place on 30 points.
VfB Stuttgart substitute Artem Kravets scored an 88th minute winner with a glancing header as they edged 2-1 past Hamburg SV to moved up to 21 points in 15th, two ahead of Werder who are in the relegation playoff spot.