Reyna again rescues Dortmund with late winner against Mainz

Sports

BERLIN (AP) — Gio Reyna again came off the bench to score a late winner for Borussia Dortmund, securing a 2-1 victory at Mainz in the Bundesliga on Wednesday.

Reyna also scored Dortmund’s late winner in a 4-3 win against Augsburg on Sunday, and repeated the feat in Mainz after coming on with just under half an hour remaining.

Fellow substitute Sébastien Haller headed on a free kick for Reyna to sweep home in the third minute of injury time. The American ran toward the corner flag pointing to the sky with his right index finger. After celebrating with teammates, he faced fans with his fists to his ears, as if showing he’s blocking out the fallout from his family’s dispute with former U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter that has led to turmoil at the U.S. Soccer Federation.

Reyna’s goal, his fourth of the season, keeps Dortmund’s winning start to 2023 intact and moves the team five points behind league leader Bayern Munich, which has two draws since returning from the winter break.

Emre Can started in place of the suspended Jude Bellingham, while Niklas Süle came in for Mats Hummels, who dropped to the bench. Julian Ryerson started at right back again for the second game since his transfer from Union Berlin.

Lee Jae-Sung got Mainz off to a great start in the second minute with a header to a corner. Ryerson had allowed the South Korea midfielder too much space, but he atoned two minutes later with the equalizer after seeing his shot from distance take a deflection.

Dortmund had a couple of good chances early on but that was it as each team canceled out the other in midfield.

Edin Terzić reacted in the 62nd by bringing on three forwards — Haller, Reyna and Jamie Bynoe-Gittens — at once. Haller was making his second appearance after treatment for testicular cancer.

Freiburg hosted Eintracht Frankfurt and Union Berlin was visiting Werder Bremen later. Freiburg, Frankfurt and Union were all aiming to cut Bayern Munich’s lead to three points. Also, Bayer Leverkusen was playing Bochum and Augsburg was hosting Borussia Mönchengladbach to close out the opening half of the season.

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