Promoted Heidenheim claimed their first points in the Bundesliga on Friday, coming from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Borussia Dortmund after a controversial and bizarre late penalty decision. Dortmund looked in full control early, taking a commanding lead just 15 minutes with a goal from Julian Brandt and an Emre Can penalty. The home side wasted several chances to land a killer blow and allowed Heidenheim back into the game, Eren Dinkci scoring a stunner early in the second half to give the visitors hope.
Heidenheim equalised from the spot late in the second half, Tim Kleindienst scoring after a long VAR delay.
Having originally awarded a penalty which was overturned by VAR for offside, the referee approached the box and again overturned the decision, sending Kleindienst to the spot.
Dortmund protested but the goal stood, continuing a worryingly poor start from last year’s runners up, who now have one win and two draws in the league this season.
“We pretty much beat ourselves in the second half” Brandt told DAZN.
“We conceded two goals after safely having possession of the ball. We urgently need to protect the ball — goals like that break our necks.”
Dortmund manager Edin Terzic refused to blame the late controversy, telling DAZN “we completely gave the game away… you have to say that we beat ourselves today.”
His Heidenheim counterpart Frank Schmidt credited his side’s fightback.
“We were 2-0 behind after 15 minutes and I think everyone thought it was over, but then we took risks and provoked mistakes — you can say we should have won.”
Facing a side playing only their third top division match, Dortmund dominated early and took the lead after just seven minutes, Brandt lofting a shot past Kevin Mueller and in, off the bottom of the crossbar.
Dortmund doubled their lead from the spot soon after, captain Can sending Mueller the wrong way after Lennard Maloney handballed under pressure from Brandt.
The home side turned the screws as the newcomers looked shellshocked, but were unable to convert several half-chances.
Outclassed in the first half, Heidenheim looked a different side early in the second half, turning up the pressure on the home side.
The visitors had the ball in the net shortly after halftime but had the goal struck off for handball. Undeterred, Heidenheim pulled one back shortly after, Dinkci slamming past Gregor Kobel from close range.
With 15 minutes remaining, Sebastien Haller brought down an offside Jan-Niklas Beste in the box.
In comical scenes, the match official pointed to the spot but a VAR review overturned the penalty for offside — before suggesting the referee have another look on the monitor.
The referee took several minutes before awarding a penalty, deciding Haller had control of the ball and had played on, meaning the offside was irrelevant.
Kleindienst, who scored the crucial penalty which brought Heidenheim into the top division last season, stepped up and blasted the ball down the middle to equalise.
Despite 12 minutes of injury time, the visitors held on for a memorable draw.