Dortmund’s win delays Bayern title

Borussia Dortmund delayed the surrender of its Bundesliga title by winning 2-1 against 10-man Stuttgart on Saturday.

Robert Lewandowski scored in his ninth consecutive game to seal Dortmund’s victory after the home side had lost Gregor Niedermeier to a red card in an ill-tempered match. Lewandowski’s streak is third on the league’s all-time list. Gerd Mueller scored in 16 straight games and Klaus Allofs in 10. Mueller also had a nine-game scoring streak.

Had Dortmund failed to win in Stuttgart, Bayern could have sealed the title with a victory against Hamburger SV later Saturday. Bayern went into the weekend holding a 20-point lead over Dortmund, the two-time defending champion.

Dortmund’s victory strengthened its hold on second place. Bayer Leverkusen stayed third, four points behind, by beating Fortuna Duesseldorf 4-1 away.

Hannover won 2-0 in Augsburg, Schalke beat Hoffenheim 3-0, Freiburg defeated Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-0 and Werder Bremen drew 1-1 in Mainz after conceding the fastest goal of the season 12 seconds into the match.

In Stuttgart, the home side had the first chance but Dortmund’s goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller stopped Ibrahima Traore’s effort, while on the other side Marco Reus chipped over Sven Ulreich but narrowly missed the target.

Dortmund defender Marcel Schmelzer had to leave the game when he was kicked in the face accidentally by Martin Harnik in the 24th and was replaced by Lukasz Piszczek.

While Schmelzer was on the way to a hospital with a suspected broken nose, Piszczek scored five minutes after coming on. He found the net with a glancing header off a free kick by Reus.

Stuttgart nearly equalized in the 59th. Christian Gentner hit the post, then Mario Goetze cleared on the line from Antonio Ruediger’s follow-through.

The home team got its goal in the 63rd when Alexandru Maxim beat Goetze to a loose ball and slotted inside the far post.

But Stuttgart was reduced to 10 men when Niedermeier got his second yellow card for a wild challenge on Goetze.

Ulreich produced superb saves to deny Piszczek, Neven Subotic and Lewandowski before conceding in the 82nd.

Piszczek sent a perfectly timed pass behind Stuttgart’s defense and Lewandowski tapped the ball in for his league-high 20th goal of the season.

Dortmund’s coach, Juergen Klopp, was upset after the match.

”It was too hard, there was too much aggression. We got manhandled, at times I was worried about the health of my players,” said Klopp, whose team travels to Malaga next week for the Champions League quarterfinal.

In Mainz, Bremen kicked off the match but Assani Lukimya immediately lost the ball to Andreas Ivanschitz, who sent the ball into the penalty area where Adam Szalai slid to prod it home 12 seconds into the match. It was the fourth-fastest goal in Bundesliga history, the other three coming after 11 seconds.

Mainz failed to put the match away and Aaron Hunt notched the equalizer in the 69th.

Leverkusen got a pair of goals from Stefan Kiessling and Andre Schuerrle to win in nearby Duesseldorf.

Kiessling, who converted a penalty for the first goal of the match, has 18 goals for the season.

Konstantin Rausch scored both goals for Hannover to win in Augsburg, which remains four points ahead of Hoffenheim in 16th place, which means a relegation playoff.

Hoffenheim resisted at Schalke until the 71st, when Marco Hoeger put the home side ahead. Raffael and Teemu Pukki added late goals.

Max Kruse scored both goals for Freiburg against his future club Borussia Moenchengladbach.