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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Mainz 0-2 Borussia Dortmund: Rare Sokratis Strike Gives Peter Stoger a Winning Start at BVB

Just nine days after being sacked as the manager of FC Köln, Peter Stöger got his reign in charge of Borussia Dortmund off to the perfect start with a 0-2 win against FSV Mainz 05.

The hosts would have had some hopes of snatching something against Dortmund, with their most recent home win of the season coming against Stöger's struggling Köln side. However, die Schwarzgelben snatched all three points and put an end to their two-month winless run in the Bundesliga.

Suat Serdar came close to putting a damper on Stöger's maiden game in charge of Dortmund with an outstanding long-range effort that crashed off Roman Bürki's crossbar. 

The German midfielder was then offered another opportunity to put get the opening goal of the game but his close-range effort flew over the bar.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had Dortmund's first opportunity of the match. However, the Gabonese striker could only direct his volley harmlessly wide of the post. 

Andriy Yarmolenko also wasted an opportunity to put Dortmund in the lead after delaying taking a shot on his weaker right foot.

Aubameyang could, and probably should, have put Dortmund in front after racing onto the end of a stunning through ball from Julian Weigl. However, the 28-year-old sent the ball well wide of the far post with the outside of his right foot and the two sides went into half-time on level terms.

Christian Pulisic sent a wayward shot flying wide of Robin Zentner's goal early in the second half before Greek defender Sokratis finally put Dortmund in front.

After Ömer Toprak saw a header rattle the woodwork following Shinji Kagawa's teasing free-kick, Sokratis fired a right-footed effort into the back of the net to register his third goal of the season.

Mainz looked to respond quickly and Leon Balogun came close to finding the back of the net with a towering header, only to be foiled by Swiss international Roman Bürki.

Kagawa should have doubled Dortmund's lead with a golden opportunity as the game was drawing to a close. However, the Japanese playmaker could only turn Yarmolenko's pass onto the legs of Zentner from 12 yards out.

The former Manchester United midfielder was able to put the icing on the cake and gift Peter Stöger a first win as Dortmund manager with the last chance of the match. 

With just minutes left to play, Kagawa poked the ball into an empty net after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang rounded Mainz's helpless goalkeeper.