Okazaki hits brace in Mainz defeat


Japan striker Shinji Okazaki struck his 12th and 13th goals of the season on Saturday but Borussia Dortmund beat Mainz 4-2 in the Bundesliga to secure its place in the group stages of next season’s UEFA Champions League.

Okazaki canceled out Milos Jojic’s opener for Dortmund when he let fly with a shot from 20 meters that ricocheted off Mats Hummels in the 14th minute.

Robert Lewandowski then put Dortmund ahead once again, only for Okazaki to pounce on Nuri Sahin’s misplaced back pass and equalize for the second time in the match in the 54th.

Okazaki’s 13th goal saw him tie the single-season goals record by a Japanese player in Europe’s top leagues. Manchester United’s Shinji Kagawa scored 13 when he played for Dortmund in the 2011-2012 campaign.

However, Lukasz Piszczek added a third for Dortmund and this time there was no way back for Mainz as a Marco Reus penalty completed the win after Niko Bungert had been sent off.