Borussia Dortmund handed the advantage in the Bundesliga title race back to Bayern Munich on Friday after being held to a 1-1 draw at lowly Bochum.
Bochum, who sit one spot and just two points above the relegation zone, scored after just five minutes, Anthony Losilla unleashing a screamer from outside the box.
Dortmund hit back immediately, Germany forward Karim Adeyemi tapping in after a length-of-the-field team move to make it 1-1.
With the match winding down, Adeyemi looked to have won a penalty for the visiting side when brought down in the box by Danilo Soares, but the referee waved the incident away.
Dortmund were camped in the Bochum penalty area in the final minutes and had the ball in the net through Mats Hummels, but the linesman’s flag went up immediately, with the defender standing half a metre offside.
Bayern can go one point clear in their bid for an 11th straight title by winning at home against last-placed Hertha Berlin on Sunday.
Dortmund manager Edin Terzic lamented the “extremely bitter” result as his side had a “rare chance to be so close to the championship.”
Terzic said the referee’s failure to check the Adeyemi penalty incident was “a key scene” in the draw, revealing to broadcaster DAZN “I begged him to look at it.”
His Bochum counterpart Thomas Letsch toasted “the style and manner the team fought” saying “that’s what we need in a relegation battle.”
Disappointed Dortmund goalkeeper Gregor Kobel said his side “had the title in our own hands, but couldn’t make the most of it.”
“We need to look forward, keep fighting and win our next game.”
Dortmund came into the match knowing a win would send them four points clear.
But they arrived winless in their last five away matches in all competitions and faced a Bochum side kept out of the relegation places due to their strong home form.
Bochum made the most of a nervy start from the visitors, Losilla latching onto a poor Dortmund clearance to rocket the ball across Gregor Kobel and into the top left of the net.
Dortmund hit back 90 seconds later, Hummels curling a long pass to winger Donyell Malen on the right flank, who slipped his defender and sent the ball across.
Striker Sebastien Haller got a toe to the pass, guiding it into the path of Adeyemi, who tapped it in to level the scores.
Midway through the second half, Adeyemi went down in the box under heavy attention from Soares, but the referee waved the incident away without checking the VAR monitor.
With time winding down, Edin Terzic brought on fresh legs, including captain Marco Reus and teenage striker Youssoufa Moukoko.
Moukoko, who scored a brace when the two sides met earlier in the season, almost had an immediate impact, forcing a reflex save from Manuel Riemann.
Riemann saved Bochum again less than a minute later, getting an outstretched hand to a curling shot from English teenager Jude Bellingham.
With one minute remaining, Hummels sent the visiting fans into raptures when he headed the ball into the goal, but his effort was chalked out for offside, a decision which will be celebrated in the Bavarian capital.
Terzic remonstrated with the referee, who went over to the sideline to explain the decision to the Dortmund boss, giving the protesting coach a yellow card in the process.
World Cup News
Football/ 2 weeks ago
World Cup 2026 teams to be based in ‘clusters’: Infantino
Teams at the expanded 2026 World Cup in the United States, Canada and Mexico...
Football/ 1 month ago
Qatar spends big to beat post-World Cup blues
Months after hundreds of thousands of football fans packed into its hotels and stadiums,...
Football/ 1 month ago
US, Mexico to jointly bid for 2027 Women’s World Cup
The United States and Mexico will bid to co-host the 2027 Women’s World Cup,...
Football/ 3 months ago
Morocco says joining Spain-Portugal 2030 World Cup bid
King Mohammed VI of Morocco announced on Tuesday that his country had joined the...