It took only 15 minutes for Borussia Dortmund to get its Bundesliga season on track Friday night, but the final 10 minutes in Augsburg almost undid their good work.
Having lost their opener at home against Bayer Leverkusen, the black-and-gold pounced fast in Augsburg where early goals from Marco Reus and Sokratis pointed toward the 3-2 victory that was more comprehensive than the final score indicated.
Despite conceding twice in the closing phase, the performance should prove something of a tonic for injury-hit Dortmund, which did have Roman Weidenfeller back in goal and Neven Subotic in central defense from the start. Sven Bender came on for the last 27 minutes and Adrian Ramos, the Colombia striker who was so prolific with Hertha Berlin, got on for the final 18 minutes, then scoring his first goal for his new club to mark the occasion.
And there will be more reinforcements: Jürgen Klopp is still without Mats Hummels, regaining fitness after his post-Brazil time off, Jakub Blaszczykowski, Ilkay Gündogan, Nuri Sahin, Marcel Schmelzer, Dong-Won Ji and Oliver Kirch.
Reus, who missed the World Cup after suffering an injury in a friendly just before Germany left for Brazil, showed signs that he is ready to again take charge of matches. After showing only flashes of his best form last weekend, he was immediately at the heart of things Friday, pushing forward and taking his colleagues with him
The result was the two quick strikes that set the tone for evening.
In the 12th minute, Reus finished a clever 1-2 on the edge of the box, taking the return pass from Kevin Grosskreutz, then slipping past two defenders to go right in on Marwin Hitz before flicking the ball to the right corner. Three minutes later, when Augsburg could only hack a Lukasz Piszczek cross away for a corner, the home side was punished again, Sokratis getting between defenders to head strongly past Hitz from eight yards. It was Reus who delivered the corner.
Dortmund did not add to their account until Ramos, on the field only seven minutes as a substitute, turned a rebound into an open net in the 79th minute after Hitz could only parry Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s drive off an attempted clearance from a corner. That it proved necessary spoke to the fact that the Dortmund backline went to sleep twice in the closing stages.
Prior to the 82nd minute, the winners had never looked in real trouble against an Augsburg side which had limited chances to get back into things, Nikola Djurdjic missing the best of them in the 37th minute when he was in space in the box before pushing his shot past the far post. Even though BvB yielded some needless free kicks around his area did not mean that Weidenfeller was at all busy.
Perhaps that’s why the backline was a bit too passive when Abdul Rahman Baba swung a cross through the box in the 82nd minute that found Raul Bobadilla available at the far post to chest the ball forward, then snap it past Weidenfeller.
Dortmund went the other way as Augsburg pushed men forward but wasted a pair of breakaway looks before Baba again swung in a cross, this one perfectly measured for Tim Matavz, the former PSV man, to head powerfully home in the 90th minute.
That was as close as Augsburg got, but it was closer than they should have been.
After the international break, Dortmund will face SC Freiburg (Sept. 13) before starting its Champions League work at home to Arsenal on Sept. 16.
Augsburg lost for the second time in as many weeks. They return to action Sept. 14 at Eintracht Frankfurt.