BERLIN — Borussia Dortmund captain Sebastian Kehl scored the only goal as his team consolidated second place in the Bundesliga with a 1-0 win at his former club Freiburg on Sunday.
Kehl's goal came against the run of play in the 58th minute when he swept the ball over Freiburg goalkeeper Oliver Baumann from around 25 meters with his left foot.
"We didn't really have any shots on goal. Dortmund neither — apart from Kehl's shot," Baumann said. "It's annoying, because we were holding our own."
The result prevented Freiburg from escaping the relegation zone with a win. It would have been the club's 100th home win in 500 Bundesliga games. Dortmund restored its 20-point gap behind runaway leader Bayern Munich.
"Whoever wins these sorts of games becomes champion, but that doesn't apply (this season)," Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp joked, referring to Bayern's unprecedented form.
Both Dortmund and Freiburg canceled each other out in a first half of few real threats, and there weren't many more chances in the second.
"It was a lucky win for us. You have to say that," Dortmund defender Mats Hummels said.
Dortmund's Sokratis was fortunate to escape with just a yellow card at the end of the first when he appeared to take down the surging Philipp Zulechner.
"If he showed a card at all, it should be red as he was the last defender," Zulechner said.
Mainz drew 1-1 at home with Hertha Berlin in Sunday's late game, a result that cost both sides the chance to climb into the European qualification places.
Hertha goalkeeper Thomas Kraft made a series of key interventions as the home side came closest to scoring in the first half.
Choupo-Moting atoned in the 65th with a well-struck penalty, conceded when Sami Allagui brought down Koo Ja-Cheol.
"We made unnecessary mistakes in the first half but improved in the second," said Hertha coach Jos Luhukay, whose side remains ninth, two points behind seventh-placed Mainz. "We're happy with the point."