BERLIN, May 6 (Reuters) - Borussia Dortmund edged past Hoffenheim 2-1 on Saturday to move into third place in the Bundesliga with two matches left and take a big step towards securing a spot in next season’s Champions League group stage.
An early goal from Marco Reus and a late one from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sent Dortmund up to 60 points, two ahead of fourth-placed Hoffenheim, who cut the deficit with a late penalty.
RB Leipzig, in second on 63, travel to Hertha Berlin later on Saturday.
Champions Bayern Munich, who secured the title last week, beat bottom side Darmstadt 98 1-0 to confirm their long-expected relegation.
With third place guaranteeing more than 12 million euros and fourth leading to the tricky Champions League qualifying rounds, Dortmund looked more determined from the start.
Reus put them ahead in the fourth minute from what was clearly an offside position, drilling the ball through the legs of charging keeper Oliver Baumann.
Aubameyang could have doubled the lead 10 minutes later when Dortmund were awarded a penalty for a hand ball in what was another controversial decision.
Reus had controlled the ball with his arm before it bounced off the hand of a Hoffenheim player and referee Felix Brych awarded the spot-kick, triggering angry complaints from the visitors.
Gabon international Aubameyang stepped up but fired his low penalty wide to keep the visitors in the game.
Reus went close to scoring a sensational second goal on the hour but Baumann slapped his powerful volley wide with a reflex save.
He could do nothing when Aubameyang nodded in from close range to join Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski at the top of the scorers list on 28 goals.
Hoffenheim pulled a goal back with an 86th-minute penalty from Andrej Kramaric. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Ed Osmond)