The Malta Independent 22 October 2020, Thursday

Borussia Dortmund beat Mainz 2-0, fan dies in stadium

Associated Press Sunday, 13 March 2016, 20:03 Last update: about 6 years ago

Marco Reus and Shinji Kagawa fired Borussia Dortmund to a 2-0 Bundesliga win over Mainz on Sunday, though celebrations were muted due to the death of a fan in the stadium.

One supporter died after suffering a heart attack despite efforts to save him, while another fan was "in a stable condition" in hospital — also after a heart attack — Dortmund media director Sascha Fligge told The Associated Press.

Gonzalo Castro provided the key for the breakthrough in the 30th minute, running through midfield and eluding four Mainz players before finding Reus on the right. Reus finished coolly inside the far post.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had three chances to make it 2-0 after the break, only for Mainz 'keeper Loris Karius to deny him on each occasion.

Fans were unusually quiet midway through the half as news filtered through of the fan's death. Banners were taken down and the vast majority stopped chanting or singing for the rest of the game.

"At first I was irritated because I didn't know what was going on. In hindsight you have to pay the fans a huge compliment," said Reus, who said he had been asked by the referee why fans had stopped supporting the team.

Karius made more saves to deny the home side, before Aubameyang crossed for Kagawa to seal the win in the 73rd.

Fans broke into a rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone" before the game ended, and again after the final whistle when the Dortmund players lined up in a mark of respect.

Dortmund restored the five-point gap behind Bayern Munich with eight rounds of games remaining. Mainz dropped to sixth.

Earlier, an own goal from Albin Ekdal was enough for Bayer Leverkusen to beat visiting Hamburger SV 1-0 and climb to seventh, a point behind Mainz.

The victory was Leverkusen's first after four league games without a win, easing the pressure on coach Roger Schmidt on his 49th birthday. Schmidt was back after serving a three-game ban for refusing to be sent off in a previous game.

"Everyone felt the pressure. That's why it was even more important to get the three points. Now we're back on course," said Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno, who safeguarded his side's win with an impressive performance.

The game sparked into life with Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez heading over before Artjoms Rudnevs was thwarted by Leno at the other end.

Leverkusen scored when Ekdal deflected Julian Brandt's cross into his own net in the 18th.

Chicharito hit the crossbar with another header before the break, and Hamburg pressed for an equalizer thereafter. The best chances fell to Latvia striker Rudnevs, who could find no way past the inspired Leno.

Leverkusen defender Tin Jedvaj was sent off with two cards in injury time, the second for a reaction to his first.

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