Borussia Dortmund players celebrate victory over Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga on Saturday, February 25, 2023. (Uwe Anspach/dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — Julian Brandt scored from behind and Borussia Dortmund held on to beat Hoffenheim 1-0 on Saturday to take the Bundesliga lead.

It was Dortmund’s ninth win in nine outings in all competitions this year and enough to take a three-point lead against 10-time league champions Bayern Munich and unexpected opponents Union Berlin. .

Bayern, who saw their four-point lead at the top disappear after the winter break, host Unión on Sunday.

Brandt scored for the fourth straight time in the league. Marco Reus fired a free kick and Brandt came forward for the ball to hit his back in the 43rd minute.

Hoffenheim could have been awarded a penalty at the start of the complementary game. Referee Martin Petersen initially awarded a free kick for a foul by Emre Can on Kevin Akpoguma, but after reviewing the replay decided it was not a foul.

VAR’s next decision was against Dortmund. Marius Wolf thought he had made it 2-0 with a powerful shot, but the goal was disallowed by an apparent foul by Nico Schlotterbeck on Ihlas Bebou.

Gregor Kobel cleared Andrej Kramaric’s free-kick, but Hoffenheim kept the pressure on until the end.

It was the third consecutive defeat for American coach Pellegrino Matarazzo since joining Hoffenheim.

Also on Saturday, on a snowy day in the capital, Hertha Berlin exited the relegation spots with a 2-0 win over Augsburg.

Florian Niederlechner started against his former side Hertha, who should have paid Augsburg more for the privilege after the club’s transfer window.

Marco Richter opened the scoring at 61, nine minutes later Dodi Lukebakio sealed Hertha’s fifth victory of the season.

Leipzig held on to beat Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1, Cologne lost 2-0 at home to Wolfsburg and Werder Bremen secured a 3-0 win over Bochum.

Later, Schalke receive Stuttgart.

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