European contenders Dortmund draw and Hertha lose

Berlin, Jumada I 01, 1438, January 29, 2017, SPA — Borussia Dortmund had to swallow a late 1-1 equalizer
at Mainz while Hertha Berlin lost 2-1 at Freiburg as two Champions
League contenders dropped points in the Bundesliga on Sunday, according to dpa.
Mainz’ Danny Latza cancelled out Dortmund’s early lead from Germany forward Marco Reus in the 83rd minute.
In Freiburg, Janik Haberer opened the scoring in the 39th, substitute Nils Petersen got the second in the 87th but the hosts had to sweat it out at the end after Julian Schieber smashed home for Hertha in the 88th. Dortmund are fourth with 31 points, one behind Eintracht Frankfurt and far off leaders Bayern Munich (45) and RB Leipzig (42). They are in Champions League territory but face a fight for places in Europe with Hoffenheim (31), Hertha (30) and Cologne (29).
Hertha meanwhile slipped from third during hibernation to sixth after also losing last weekend in Leverkusen. Freiburg are eighth and Mainz 10th.
Dortmund had won the last four games against Mainz, and their former Mainz coach Thomas Tuchel had a perfect start when winger Andre Schuerrle, also ex-Mainz, found Reus on the left edge of the area to get the opening goal in the third minute with a low shot into the left corner.
Yoshinori Muto wrongly had an equalizer ruled offside and Schuerrle came close on the hour but Mainz had the last laugh when Latza headed in Levin Oztunali’s cross at the far left post, and Pablo de Blasis almost stole an injury-time winner for the hosts.
“It is very disappointing. We wanted to go third again with a win.
The goal was too easy. Of course Mainz are good but we wanted to deny them,” Dortmund captain Marcel Schmelzer told Sky TV. In Freiburg, Haberer opened the scoring into the bottom left corner after being set up by Vicenzo Grifo’s low cross, and Petersen doubled the lead with a solo effort for his sixth season goal.
Schieber’s goal came too late for the visitors to create a turnaround, after Per Ciljan Skjelbred and former Freiburg player Vladimir Darida had missed earlier chances for them.
Hertha’s poor start out of the break brought back memories of past seasons in which they struggled in the second part of the season, such as last year when they dropped from third to seventh and outside European berths. “We want to defend sixth place. We are sixth … I don’t have to become hectic, its part of the game to lose twice away from home,” Hertha coach Pal Dardai said.
–SPA
22:17 LOCAL TIME 19:17 GMT