Alcacer hat-trick keeps Dortmund top in seven-goal thriller

Berlin: A spectacular hat-trick from substitute Paco Alcacer secured Borussia Dortmund a 4-3 win over Augsburg on Saturday and kept Lucien Favre’s side top of the Bundesliga.
Alcacer struck the winner with a free kick deep into injury time after Michael Gregoritsch appeared to have secured a deserved draw for the visitors. The victory puts unbeaten Dortmund on 17 points and they will lead into the international break even if Bayern Munich defeat Borussia Moenchengladbach in the late game.
Third-placed Hertha Berlin were held 0-0 in Mainz while Schalke continued their revival 2-0 at Fortuna Dusseldorf. Hanover moved off the bottom with a first season win 3-1 over VfB Stuttgart.
Augsburg started bravely in Dortmund and took a deserved lead when Alfred Finnbogason squeezed the ball through goalkeeper Roman Buerkiat a free kick.
Dortmund were slow to respond and it was substitute Alcacer who brought them level in 62, coolly converting a cross from Jadon Sancho.
Finnbogason hit the bar but Augsburg regained the lead when Philipp Max converted Andre Hahn’s mis-hit at the back post.
Alcacer swept in a quickly taken set piece and Mario Goetze, facing younger brother Felix playing for Augsburg, seemed to have bagged the winner 10 minutes from time on his return from illness in his first league appearance of the season.
Gregoritsch rose to head in a corner, with Buerki badly at fault, to level again but six minutes into stoppage time, Alcacer sent a freekick over the wall and into the net for a dramatic victory.
“I have to give the team a big compliment for this performance,” Augsburg coach Manuel Baum said. “We have never hid,defended very courageously and always tried to get forward.”
Alcacer has now scored seven goals for Dortmund, all from the bench,since joining on loan from Barcelona.
“I spoke with him before the game, I know what he can do,” Dortmund coach Lucien Favre said of Alcacer. “Paco hasn’t played over the full 90 minutes for three years.”
“Both teams had chances, it was a very emotional and fantastic football game.” Hertha beat Bayern last weekend but were frustrated at mid-table Mainz. They are third on goal difference behind Werder Bremen, who beat Wolfsburg 2-0 on Friday. — dpa