DORTMUND, Germany (Reuters) - Borussia Dortmund kept alive their fading hopes of wrestling the Bundesliga title from Bayern Munich’s grasp after a second-half goal from Emre Can gave them a 1-0 home win over Hertha Berlin on Saturday.
The result left Dortmund second on 63 points with four rounds of games remaining, seven behind champions Bayern who moved a step closer to securing their eighth successive title with a 4-2 win at Bayer Leverkusen earlier in the day.
Prior to the kickoff, both teams went down on one knee in the centre circle to pay tribute to George Floyd, an unarmed black man whose death in U.S. police custody on May 25 has triggered protests around the world..
Bayern players wore “Black Lives Matter” armbands in their win over Leverkusen and before the match they warmed up in t-shirts saying “Reds Against Racism”.
The first half in Dortmund was played almost at walking pace and produced two chances for the home side, as Thorgan Hazard sliced his shot wide from seven metres before Julian Brandt fired wide from 18 metres.
England forward Jadon Sancho, who scored a hat-trick in last week’s 6-1 win at Paderborn, endured a poor afternoon and was guilty of an astonishing miss in the 51st minute, when he side-footed the ball wide from five metres.
With Dortmund dominating, Can finally broke the deadlock in the 58th when he drove the ball into the bottom left corner from the edge of the penalty area after Sancho headed a Hazard cross into the midfielder’s stride.
Sancho squandered another gilt-edged chance in the 90th minute, allowing Hertha keeper Rune Jarstein to block his shot from two metres out after another flowing Dortmund move.
The result left Hertha ninth on 38 points with only a slim chance of clinching a Europa League qualifying spot.
Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Toby Davis