Bayern wins amid calls by Bundesliga fans to 'boycott Qatar'

BERLIN (AP) — Amid calls in the Bundesliga to boycott Qatar’s World Cup, 17-year-old Youssoufa Moukoko fired his way into contention for a place on Germany’s team with two goals in Borussia Dortmund’s 3-0 win over Bochum on Saturday.

Dortmund fans unfurled numerous banners before the game criticizing Qatar’s human rights record, mourning the loss of soccer’s morals and urging TV viewers not to watch the tournament that starts on Nov. 20.

In Berlin, Hertha fans also displayed a huge banner calling for a boycott of the tournament, and other banners slamming its impact on the climate, Qatar’s persecution of LGBTQ+ rights and disregard for human rights.

In the second half of the team’s 3-2 loss to Bayern Munich, Hertha fans unfurled another banner saying: “15,000 deaths for 5,760 minutes of football! Shame yourselves!”

Qatari officials have consistently denied the figure of 6,500 migrant deaths first reported by the British newspaper The Guardian. It is unclear exactly how many migrant workers have died in helping the Gulf Arab country get ready to host world soccer’s biggest tournament.

BAYERN BACK ON TOP

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting scored quick-fire goals for Bayern to move top before previous league leader Union Berlin visits Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday.

But it was a nervy win as Hertha fought from three goals down and almost claimed a late equalizer.

Jamal Musiala nonchalantly opened the scoring in the 12th minute after Sadio Mané won the ball from a Hertha player in midfield to set him up.

It was Bayern’s first shot at goal. Hertha needed goalkeeper Oliver Christensen at his best to thwart Mané with Bayern’s second attempt in the 24th.

Hertha fans then unfurled a huge banner calling for a World Cup boycott, but it failed to put off the Qatar-sponsored visitors.

Choupo-Moting scored two goals in as many minutes in the 37th and 38th. It was his seventh consecutive game scoring for Bayern across all competitions.

However, Dodi Lukebakio pulled one back in the 40th and Hertha was given another lifeline when Davie Selke was awarded a penalty through VAR after Benjamin Pavard stamped on his foot. The Hertha forward recovered in time to score from the spot in his 200th Bundesliga game.

Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer made a timely return after recovering from a shoulder problem. The 26-year-old hadn’t played for Bayern since the 2-2 draw in Dortmund on Oct. 8.

MOUKOKO SHINES

Aged 17 years and 350 days, Moukoko became the youngest player to register 10 Bundesliga goals as he helped Dortmund move third.

Moukoko shook off a defender and let fly with a dipping shot that flew in off the underside of the crossbar in the eighth minute and Gio Reyna made it 2-0 with a coolly-taken penalty four minutes later. It was the American’s second goal of the season on his second start.

Dortmund pushed on for more, but it was Bochum’s Philipp Hofmann who scored next with a spectacular looping shot over Gregor Kobel. The goal was ruled out for offside through VAR, however.

Moukoko got his second before the break when he noticed Bochum ’keeper Manuel Riemann off his line and scored from around 35 meters (yards).

Also, Eintracht Frankfurt came from behind to beat Augsburg 2-1 away, Leipzig won 3-1 at Hoffenheim and Wolfsburg won 3-0 in Mainz.

Werder Bremen held on to win 2-1 against fellow promoted side Schalke in the late game.

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Ciarán Fahey, The Associated Press