God has finally turned his back on Marco Reus and Borussia Dortmund.

Dortmund slipped at the final hurdle, drawing 2-2 with Mainz in the final match of the 2022-23 German Bundesliga on Sunday (Aug. 27) at Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund, Germany, to finish as runners-up again.

After winning back-to-back league titles in 2010-11 and 2011-12, Dortmund had to watch Bayern Munich win 10 straight titles starting in 2012-13. Along the way, they finished runner-up six times, seven if you count this season.

It was a golden opportunity. Dortmund had 70 points before the Mainz game, ahead of Munich, who had 68. With a win, they could win the title on their own. It would be the first time in 11 years that they would regain the title.

Before the game, all eyes were on Royce. The Dortmund native had been with the club for more than a decade, returning to his hometown in the 2012-13 season. But there was no championship. Injuries struck, and key players like Mario Gotze, Robert Lewandowski, Ousmane Dembele, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang left for big clubs. But Royce stuck with Dortmund, and for once, it looked like they might actually win the title.

Dortmund had won all four of their meetings with Mainz since May 2021, forming a ‘nemesis’ relationship. The last time they lost to them was back in 2020, so they were strong enough to win the final match. The players were motivated.

Dortmund pushed hard from the start. They threatened Mainz in the fourth minute with a sharp shot from Donyell Maren and in the seventh minute when Nicklas Schürrle converted a corner kick.

However, only one close call resulted in a goal. Andreas Hansch Olsen conceded a header from a corner in the 15th minute. Dortmund had a penalty kick to equalize, but Sebastien Haller missed. In the 24th minute, Lee Jae-Sung’s pinpoint cross was headed home by Karim Onisewo to make it 0-2.

The unexpected concession left Dortmund unfocused. An injury to Karim Adeyemi in the 40th minute forced Royce to make an early introduction and sparked a comeback, but no goals were scored in the first half.

Dortmund fought back furiously in the second half and missed a number of crucial scoring chances. The best of their misfortune came in the 69th minute, when Raphael Guerreiro found the back of the net after a nice link-up with Giovanni Reina to make it 1-2. Schürrle finally equalized in stoppage time, but it was too little, too late.

Dortmund came away with a point, but the problem was the results of their games against Munich and FC Koln, which were played at the same time. Being heavily outclassed on goal difference, they were hoping that Munich would either draw or lose to Cologne, and that seemed to be the case. Kingsley Coman opened the scoring in the eighth minute of the first half for Munich, but Dejan Lubic scored in the 88th minute to make it 1-1. But in the 89th minute, Jamal Moussaouiallah opened the scoring for Cologne, making it 2-1 and sealing the title. 먹튀검증

It was a nightmare for Dortmund and a blessing in disguise for Munich. In the end, Dortmund’s players collapsed in tears after the game. Royce, Jude Bellingham, and many others couldn’t keep their heads up. “Bellingham cheered his teammates on during the game, handing them water, and was sad afterward,” said British outlet SportsBible. He was seen pushing away cameras pointed at him,” the British outlet reported.

It was perhaps the closest thing Dortmund had to a title this season. With Bellingham signing for Real Madrid this summer, and news of his arrival expected soon, another star player has left the club. Dortmund has been able to weather the departures of key players, but perhaps this season’s setbacks will hurt even more than before.

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