Borussia Dortmund closed the gap to third-placed Stuttgart after overpowering Freiburg 3-0 thanks to Donyell Malen's brace in the Bundesliga on Friday. The BVB took the reins from the start and came close with 13 minutes gone when Malen tested Freiburg goalkeeper Noah Atubolu with an overhead kick from inside the box, reported Xinhua. Malen broke the deadlock moments later after Niclas Fullkrug's square pass inside the box allowed the Dutchman to drill the ball into the top right corner. Freiburg tried to respond but the Austrian international Michael Gregoritsch couldn't beat Dortmund custodian Gregor Kobel with a header in the 21st minute. World Cup Finalist France, Euro 2020 Winner Italy, Belgium and Israel Drawn in Same Group at UEFA Nations League 2024–25.

Dortmund doubled its advantage just before the break as Malen completed a counterattack into the far post corner after Fullkrug's good buildup work. Freiburg's keeper remained busy, denying Fullkrug from close range with a foot save in the 53rd minute and palming away Marco Reus' dangerous header in the 71st minute.

Dortmund increased its pressure in the closing stages as Ian Maatsen rattled the woodwork from tight angle before Fullkrug sealed the deal after heading home Julian Brandt's inswinging cross in the 87th minute. With the win, Dortmund cemented its fourth spot in the table while Freiburg suffered its third straight defeat to stay seventh.

"We started with right intensity against Freiburg and scored our goals in the right moments. With the lead we were able to focus on counterattacks and score more goals," said Malen. UEFA Women’s Euro 2029: Sweden and Denmark Team Up To Bid for European Championship.

"We controlled the proceedings from the kick-off. We defended very well and staged a focused and disciplined performance. It was our best performance in 2024," commented Dortmund coach Edin Terzic.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Feb 10, 2024 10:34 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website