Birthday-boy Kagawa strikes to keep Dortmund clear

18 March 2012 01:46

Japan wing Shinji Kagawa celebrated his 23rd birthday with Borussia Dortmund's winning goal against Werder Bremen to keep his side five points clear at the top of the German league.

Kagawa's eighth-minute header sealed Saturday's 1-0 win over Bremen which puts Dortmund on 59 points, five in front of second-placed Bayern Munich who hammered relegation-threatened Hertha Berlin 6-0.

The Japan star scored his ninth goal of the season at the 80,720 sold-out Signal Iduna Park as his team earned their ninth win in their last 10 league matches and set a new club record of 20 matches without defeat.

"I gave myself a present today, but I celebrated the goal with (Brazilian defender) Felipe Sentana, who also has a birthday," said Kagawa, as Sentana turned 26 the same day.

"The boys sang us a birthday song before the game.

"Today we were lacking in the final precision, we should have scored the second goal in the first half."

Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp echoed Kagawa's sentiments that Dortmund need to finish their chances with their home league-title showdown against Bayern looming on April 11.

"My only criticism is that we didn't take our chances earlier, we left the game open for too long," said Klopp.

"Consequently, we weren't sure of the win until the very end. But I was very happy with the performance, we were very alert and alive."

Source: AFP

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