Bundesliga: Dortmund pulls within five points of Bayern Munich
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Jhon Cordoba scored late to give Mainz a stunning 2-1 upset win at front-runner Bayern Munich and put some suspense into the Bundesliga season on Wednesday.
Borussia Dortmund won 2-0 at Darmstadt ahead of Saturday's showdown at home to Bayern. If Dortmund wins, it will cut Bayern's lead from five to only two points.
Cordoba fired home in the 86th minute to end Bayern's run of 11 straight home wins this season. He also spoiled the return to the stadium of former Bayern president Uli Hoeness, who was released from prison two days ago after serving a sentence for tax evasion.
Bayer Leverkusen fell to its third straight loss, Claudio Pizarro scoring a hat trick in the 4-1 win on the road for Werder Bremen.
Also, Hertha Berlin consolidated its hold on third place by beating Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0, Schalke beat 10-man Hamburger SV 3-2, Hoffenheim beat Augsburg 2-1 and Borussia Monchengladbach routed Stuttgart 4-0. Werder escaped from the relegation zone, while Eintracht dropped into it.
In Munich, Mainz used a clever defense to keep Bayern at bay. Although Pep Guardiola's team as usual had more possession, Mainz ran a lot and looked for its chance in the counterattack.
Such a break allowed Mainz to go ahead in the 26th. Giulio Donati crossed from the right and Jairo Samperio was left unmarked at the far post to knock the ball in.
Guardiola started the match with only one German player — goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. Franck Ribery made his first start in a year and created Bayern's best chance when he fed Arturo Vidal at the edge of the penalty area. Vidal's mighty volley was turned away by Mainz goalkeeper Loris Karius.
Bayern pulled level when Arjen Robben fired low inside the post from about 20 yards in the 64th. But Mainz remained calm and Cordoba got the winner. Julian Baumgartlinger shook off Vidal and crossed for the Colombia striker to drive home past Neuer.
"We knew we would score, but we also knew that we would concede," Mainz coach Martin Schmidt said. "And we knew how to win here, with an extraordinary defensive performance and with precise counters."
Mainz is now fifth, equal on points with fourth-place Monchengladbach.
Robben said Bayern made mistakes before Cordoba's goal that shouldn't happen.
"But when you win many matches one after the other, the time will come when you lose one," he said.
Guardiola's team has not looked convincing in the past few matches in the build-up to the showdown in Dortmund.
Dortmund had few problems in the routine win in Darmstadt on goals from Adrian Ramos and Erik Durm in either half.
"Everything went our way today, we won and Bayern lost," Durm said. "We can beat Bayern at home."
Pizarro, the 37-year-old veteran, raised his Bundesliga total tally to 99 goals and is now Bremen's top scorer of all time, ahead of Frank Neubarth and Rudi Voeller with 97 each.
Fin Bartels also scored for Werder, while Leverkusen's only strike was an own goal from Papy Djilododji.