Football

Peter Stoeger off to winning start with Borussia Dortmund

New coach Peter Stoeger led Borussia Dortmund to their first victory in nine games yesterday morning (Singapore time), as his side picked up a hard-fought 2-0 win away to FSV Mainz 05.

It was victory at the first attempt for the 51-year-old Austrian, who replaced Peter Bosz as head coach of the Ruhr valley club on Sunday.

A disciplined defensive performance saw Dortmund battle to victory and pick up their first clean sheet in the Bundesliga since September, with Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Shinji Kagawa scoring their goals.

The victory ended Dortmund's disappointing run of eight consecutive Bundesliga matches without a win and lifted them back up the table into fourth on 25 points.

"We are very happy and also relieved," Stoeger, who was fired from bottom club Cologne earlier this month, told Sky Sports.

"It was obviously difficult, because we didn't have much time to discuss everything ahead of the game.

"In the second half, we restored a bit of order and we could have wrapped it up earlier than we did."

Having struggled in the first half, Dortmund took the lead on 55 minutes as Kagawa's free-kick was knocked on to the post and Sokratis lashed the ball in on the rebound.

Kagawa doubled the lead two minutes from time, when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang held the ball up on the counter-attack before setting up the Japanese international.

"It would be too easy to put everything down to the new coach," said Dortmund's Marcel Schmelzer.

"Every player fought today, and that was important. That, and our quality, was what got us the win." - AFP

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