DORTMUND, Germany (AP) — Donyell Malen scored twice as Borussia Dortmund defeated Freiburg 3-0 in the Bundesliga on Friday and extended its unbeaten start to 2024 to five games.
Dutch forward Malen gave Dortmund the lead in the eighth minute with a shot into the top right corner off a pass from Niclas Füllkrug, and scored again in first-half stoppage time on the counter.
Füllkrug set up Malen both times and finally marked his 31st birthday with his own goal, heading in at the far post in the 87th. It was his 10th Bundesliga goal and fifth in the last four games.
Dortmund stayed fourth but moved level on points with third-placed Stuttgart, which faces Mainz on Sunday. Dortmund has won four games and drawn one this year, conceding just one goal in the process. Freiburg was seventh and has lost three in a row as its push for European qualification fades.
Jadon Sancho, on loan from Manchester United, came off the Dortmund bench in the 88th for a brief cameo after a muscle problem kept him out of last week’s 0-0 draw at Heidenheim. Coach Edin Terzic has linked Sancho’s fitness issue to his months-long absence from games at United before he returned to Dortmund on loan last month.
The game was repeatedly interrupted as fans of both teams threw tennis balls and other objects onto the field in protest at the German league’s plans to sell a stake in marketing and broadcast revenue to an outside investor.
The protests caused a 10-minute stoppage in the first half and shorter interruptions in the second. Earlier Friday, a second-division game between Hamburger SV and Hannover resumed after severe disruptions including fans attaching bicycle locks to a goal.
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