BERLIN (Reuters) - Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund got second-half goals from supersub Paco Alcacer and Lukasz Piszczek to edge past Mainz 05 2-1 on Saturday and open up a seven-point gap at the top.
Their seventh win in the last eight league games lifted undefeated Dortmund to 30 points, seven ahead of second-placed Eintracht Frankfurt, as they seek their first Bundesliga title since 2012.
Champions Bayern Munich, who have won the last six league titles, are fifth on 21 after a 3-3 draw against promoted Fortuna Duesseldorf.
“Obviously we are looking at the standings but there are other good teams (apart from Bayern),” coach Lucien Favre told reporters. “It is a very balanced league and when you look at our game then it was a hard-fought victory.”
“We struggled to find spaces in the first half and were not precise enough in our last pass. We were not good in the second half but we still scored the goals.”
Spaniard Alcacer, whom Dortmund agreed to sign permanently from Barcelona on Friday on a five-year contract starting in January, snatched his ninth goal of the campaign in the 66th minute, two minutes after coming on, to lead the scorers’ list in the Bundesliga.
Eight of those goals have come in substitute appearances.
Dortmund’s joy did not last long with Mainz’s Robin Quaison levelling four minutes later.
Dortmund, however, stayed focussed and kept up the pressure until defender Piszczek curled in a shot from the edge of the box in the 76th to secure the three points for the Bundesliga leaders.
Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; editing by Clare Fallon