BERLIN (Reuters) – Borussia Dortmund are one win away from clinching their first Bundesliga title in 11 years but they are desperate to keep a lid on the city’s bubbling euphoria until the job is done.
Dortmund’s 3-0 win at Augsburg on Sunday coupled with Bayern Munich’s shock 3-1 home loss to RB Leipzig put the Ruhr valley club into top spot, two points ahead of the Bavarians with one game left.
“I don’t really want to stop the euphoria but we still have one game left to play,” Dortmund sports director Sebastian Kehl said of the tightest Bundesliga race in years.
“We are taking in the euphoria but we still need 90 minutes. We cannot allow this to be taken from us.”
Kehl is aware that winning the Bundesliga would be an unexpected success for Dortmund following what has been a rollercoaster season that started with new signing Sebastien Haller being diagnosed with testicular cancer in July.
Haller had been brought in to replace top striker Erling Haaland, who joined Manchester City, but following surgeries and chemotherapy, he had to wait until 2023 to make his competitive return.
His replacement, last-minute signing Anthony Modeste, never delivered, forcing coach Edin Terzic to come up with other attacking solutions.
Terzic was also without talismanic captain Marco Reus for months due to the ankle injury that also ruled him out for last year’s World Cup.
Dortmund were in sixth place before the end of 2022 and looked out of the title race but bounced back impressively in the second half of the campaign as Bayern, who have won the previous 10 league titles, started to falter.
Dortmund could become Bundesliga champions without a single player having double-digit goals in the league this season.
Haller has quickly racked up nine, as many as Donyell Malen and Julian Brandt with Jude Bellingham on eight.
“I don’t want to think about any party,” Ivory Coast international Haller said. “I am only thinking about the game against Mainz. If we deserve to be champions then we will be.”
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Ed Osmond)
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