Ulrike John and Patrick Reichardt, dpa
Published: 17 December 2016 Saturday, 08:19 AM
Ten-man Borussia Dortmund came from behind twice to draw 2-2 at unbeaten Hoffenheim in a passionate Bundesliga duel on Friday night.
Mark Uth in the third minute and Sandro Wagner in the 18th put the hosts ahead, with Dortmund responding from Mario Goetze in the 11th and league top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang three minutes after the restart.
Injury-plagued Dortmund salvaged the point although forward Marco Reus was dismissed for a second bookable offence five minutes before intermission.
"It was a hard-fought match. We had to be aggressive as well. The draw with 10 men is more than deserved," Dortmund captain Marcel Schmelzer told Sky TV.
Hoffenheim, the only unbeaten team in the league, climbed into third place with 27 points, six behind leaders Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig. Dortmund are another point behind in fifth place.
The former leaders Leipzig take on Hertha Berlin Saturday while Bayern are at bottom club Darmstadt Sunday.
Hoffenheim had a dream start into the match when Uth took up a long ball from Benjamin Huebner, rounded hesitant goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller just inside the area and slotted home into the empty net from a left angle.
Dortmund were however not shocked with Marcel Schmelzer heading high and Aubameyang aiming inches right before Goetze fired the 11th-minute equalizer into the bottom right corner after nice work from Ousmane Dembele.
The hosts were back on top though another nine minutes on, Sandro Wagner nodding home off Huebner`s header after a corner - with the veteran Weidenfeller not looking good again but Wagner also pushing Sven Bender before scoring.
Dortmund`s woes grew when Reus harshly got his marching orders in the 40th in a duel with Nadiem Amiri for which he received his second yellow card of the game.
The drama continued right after the restart.
Wagner was denied Hoffenheim`s third by the post from point-blank range; and less than 20 seconds later Aubamweyang did better on the other end for 2-2, set up nicely by Dembele and chipping over keeper Oliver Baumann for a league-leading 16th season goal.
The lively Dembele was then stretchered off with an undisclosed injury, but Dortmund continued to go forward in search of the full three points, undeterred that they were a man down.
However, chances were sparse, just as at the other end where counter-attacking Hoffenheim also couldn`t find a winner in an emotional and at times classy encounter, although Andrej Kramaric had a late opportunity.
"No one expected us to continue attacking and get the equalizer. But in the end we lost energy against a very strong opponent who are not high in the standings by coincidence," Schmelzer said.
Wagner admitted to a foul on Bender before his goal while also lamenting his effort against the post and the ensuing Dortmund equalizer.
"But we also had several chances to win it afterwards," he said.