WOLFSBURG, GERMANY – Japan midfielder Shinji Kagawa came off the bench and scored a dramatic match-winner as Borussia Dortmund won 2-1 away at Wolfsburg on Saturday, closing the gap on leaders Bayern Munich to five points in the Bundesliga.
Kagawa, who came on in the 55th minute, saw his side concede a 91st-minute equalizing penalty but salvaged the points two minutes later with a crisp first-time finish, leaving the opposing ‘keeper Diego Benaglio no chance with a left-footed effort from 5.5 meters out.
“It’s just too dramatic. The emotion was running high,” said Kagawa after Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s delightful layoff provided the Japanese with his fourth strike in the league, following a cross field pass to the left from Lukasz Piszczek.
“I just had to do something there. The whole movement was very good, just as we pictured, and it was a goal created by everyone,” added Kagawa, who was subbed for the last two games before being named for the bench on the day by Thomas Tuchel.
“I psyched myself again and played with concentration. I could prove that with an end product.”
Dortmund struck the bar twice within the first five minutes and eventually took the lead through Marco Reus in the 32nd minute, the German international going around Benaglio to slot home after Josuha Guilavogui sloppily lost possession.
The game looked heading for a draw when Ricardo Rodriguez converted from the spot after Piszczek brought down Andre Schurrle, but Kagawa had the final say. The winner came after leaders Bayern Munich slipped to their first league defeat of the season earlier in the day, losing 3-1 away at Borussia Monchengladbach.
Elsewhere, Mainz’ s Yoshinori Muto played a part in two goals before coming off in the 79th as his side beat Hamburg 3-1 away, while Gotoku Sakai played the full 90 minutes for the home side.
Hertha Berlin’s Genki Haraguchi was taken off just before the final whistle during their 2-1 home win against Bayer Leverkusen.
In England, Shinji Okazaki remained on the bench for the first time in 10 games as Leicester returned to the top of the Premier League with a 3-0 win away at Swansea, thanks to a Riyad Mahrez hat trick.
In Portugal, Junya Tanaka came on for the last 11 minutes for Sporting Lisbon as they prevailed 1-0 away at Maritimo.
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