KENYA BROWN - Monday, May 22, 2017
Christian Pulisic and Borussia Dortmund held on to the last automatic Champions League spot with a win while Bobby Wood and Hamburg staved off relegation on the last day of the Bundesliga season.
Borussia Dortmund 4-3 Werder Bremen
Dortmund will not need to worry about going through the qualifying stage of the Champions League as they were able to squeak past Werder Bremen with a win at the Signal Iduna Park.
Pulisic entered the game at the start of the second half for BVB.
The last game of the season was going to be a nail-biter as both BVB and Hoffenheim were level on points and still battling each other to see who would take that third and final automatic Champions League spot for next season. Anything less than a win and Dortmund would be playing in the qualifying stage.
Werder Bremen did not make things easy for their host as they opened the scoring in the seventh minute through Zlatko Junuzović was able to poke the ball across the goal line. There was some confusion as to whether the goal would stand. However, the referee did allow it in the end.
BVB found the leveler in the 32nd minute as Marco Reus found the back of the net, squeezing the ball past Werder goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave his team the lead three minutes before halftime as he took a lobbed pass from teammate Ousmane Dembele and volleyed it home to the delight of the fans.
However, BVB could not hold on to their lead as Werder leveled the score just seconds into the second half as Fin Bartels finished off a cross from Max Kruse.
Kruse would then score a goal of his own in the 68th minute as he ran on to a through ball from Junuzović and chipped it over Roman Burki as it dipped into the goal.
Then it was Reus and Aubameyang to the rescue later as they put away two penalties to ensure that BVB would end the season with all three points.
Reus converted his chance in the 75th minute after being brought down in the area. Aubameyang scored his in the 89th minute as the referee judged that Pulisic was brought down, although it was a controversial call.
BVB finishes the season in third place with 64 points.
Hamburg 2-1 Wolfsburg
After spending much of the season in the relegation zone, Hamburg ensured their survival in the Bundesliga for another season with a win over Wolfsburg at the Volksparkstadion.
Wood started and played the entire game for die Rothosen in the victory.
It has been a rough season for Hamburg, but they have been able to find a way to scrap together the points they needed to
stay in the race until the last day. The game against Wolfsburg was kind of like their cup final as both teams were still on the brink.
It would be Wolfsburg that took the lead in the 23rd minute when Robin Knoche headed in a cross from teammate Sebastian Jung to silence the Hamburg fans.
However, the silence turned into a sonic boom of noise as the host leveled the scored in the 32nd minute. An interception at midfield allowed Wood to lob the ball towards Lewis Holtby. The midfielder then passed the ball into the path of Filip Kostic who fired it past Wolfsburg goalkeeper Koen Casteels.
In a tense second half, Hamburg would find the game-winner in dramatic fashion as substitute Luca Waldschmidt scored in the 88th minute to ensure their Bundesliga status for another season.
Hamburg finishes the season in 14th place with 38 points.
Ingolstadt 1-1 Schalke
In a meaningless game for both teams, relegated Ingolstadt shared the points with Schalke at Audi-Sportpark to wrap up their seasons.
However, it was a special day for Weston McKennie as he played his first professional game for the Royal Blues as he entered the game in the 77th minute. Haji Wright, who was also called up to the first team, had to watch all the action from the bench. Alfredo Morales came off the bench for Ingolstadt.
Schalke scored the first goal two minutes into the first half as Donis Avdijaj finished off a one-two pass with teammate Leon Goretzka before slotting his shot past Ingolstadt goalkeeper Orjan Nyland.
The host would level the score in the 41st minute through Pascal Gross as he converted from the penalty spot.
Things got a bit interesting in the 63rd minute as the referee gave Schalke midfielder Benjamin Stambouli a red card. However, there would be no more scoring as both teams head into the offseason thinking about what they can do to improve.
Schalke finishes in 10th place in the standings with 43 points while Ingolstadt head back to the 2. Bundesliga, finishing in 17th place with 32 points.
Timmy Chandler started for Eintracht Frankfurt in their 2-2 tie with RB Leipzig. The Eagles finished in 11th place in the standings with 42 points.
John Brooks started for Hertha Berlin as the capital team was on the wrong end of a 6-2 mauling by Bayer Leverkusen. Hertha finishes the season in sixth place in the standings with 49 points, placing them in next season's Europa League.
Fabian Johnson started for Borussia Mönchengladbach in their 2-2 tie with Darmstadt. The Foals finish the season in ninth place with 45 points.
In the 2. Bundesliga, Julian Green watched from the bench as VfB Stuttgart won the league title following a 4-1 win over the Würzburger Kickers.
Jerome Kiesewetter started for Fortuna Düsseldorf in their 1-0 win over Erzgebirge Aue. Fortuna finishes in 11th place with 42 points.
Russell Canouse watched from the bench in Bochum's 3-1 loss to St. Pauli. Bochum finishes in ninth place with 44 points.
In 3. Liga, Mael Corboz did not dress for MSV Duisburg, but the team finished the season as champions following a 5-1 win over Zwickau.
David Yelldell watched from the bench in Sonnenhof Großaspach's 4-1 loss to Rot-Weiss Erfurt. Großaspach finishes in 10th place with 51 points.
Jann George started for Jahn Regensburg in their 1-0 win over Preußen Münster. The finish in third place in the standings with 63 points. They will now face 1860 München in a promotion/relegation playoff.
Shawn Barry started for relegated FSV Frankfurt in their 4-1 loss to Wehen Wiesbaden. FSV finish in 20th place with 25 points.