Dortmund beats Union Berlin in Bundesliga to ease pressure on coach, Stuttgart eyes Champions League

BERLIN (AP) — Germany forward Karim Adeyemi’s first Bundesliga goal of the season helped Borussia Dortmund beat Union Berlin 2-0 and ease some of the pressure on coach Edin Terzić on Saturday.

“We shouldn't forget that he’s had a difficult phase and this is his first game from the start in a very, very long time," Terzić said of Adeyemi's first start since November because of injuries. “And that was also his first Bundesliga goal this season. It’s hard to imagine when you know his qualities, his potential. But still, we hope we can use it as a kick-starter.”

Adeyemi’s brilliant 41st-minute strike and a last-minute goal from Ian Maatsen kept Dortmund in fourth place, one point ahead of Leipzig, which came from behind to beat Bochum 4-1 away. Only the top four are sure of Champions League qualification. Ten rounds remain after this weekend.

Terzić is under pressure because of Dortmund’s inconsistent results – a consistent problem at Dortmund since it last won the title in 2012.

The team lost at home to Hoffenheim last weekend and won only one of its last five games across all competitions before its trip to Köpenick.

Terzić dropped Marco Reus in favor of Adeyemi, with Donyell Malen suspended for an accumulation of yellow cards.

Adeyemi scored with a fine strike in off the underside of the crossbar. Maatsen won the ball off Josip Juranović to seal the win with his first goal for Dortmund.

“We didn’t start maybe our best game, but, you know, we stick together, we fight for each other, we showed that today and we win here,” Maatsen said. “We want to have this winning feeling.”

Dortmund next visits Werder Bremen before it hosts PSV Eindhoven for the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie. The teams drew 1-1 in the first leg.

STUTTGART EYES CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Serhou Guirassy scored twice – including a penalty – and Stuttgart held on to consolidate third place and boost its chances of Champions League qualification with a 3-2 win at Wolfsburg.

Guirassy took his tally to 20 goals in 18 league appearances.

Stuttgart stayed six points clear of Dortmund and cut the gap on second-placed Bayern Munich to four points — a remarkable achievement for a team that was battling relegation when Sebastian Hoeneß took over as coach last April.

Also, Eintracht Frankfurt won at promoted Heidenheim 2-1, Borussia Mönchengladbach drew at relegation-threatened Mainz 1-1, and Augsburg enjoyed a 6-0 rout of Darmstadt, which remained on the bottom, 12 points from safety.

League leader Bayer Leverkusen can move 10 points clear of Bayern with a win at relegation-threatened Cologne in their derby on Sunday.

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AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

Ciarán Fahey, The Associated Press