Dortmund stumbles against Hertha

Dortmund, Germany (SportsNetwork.com) - Borussia Dortmund lost at home for the third time in league play this season on Saturday, falling 2-1 to Hertha Berlin to close out a disappointing first half of the Bundesliga season for the hosts.

With Bayern Munich away at the FIFA Club World Cup this weekend, Dortmund was hoping to close to within nine points of the defending champions with a win on Saturday.

And Marco Reus appeared to send them on their way when he opened the scoring for Dortmund after seven minutes.

However, Hertha scored twice in the span of 22 minutes to close out the first half with Adrian Ramos and Sami Allagui each finding the net for the visitors, who collected their third straight win.

Dortmund had no answers after halftime as Hertha was able to see off the match, leaving Dortmund 12 points back of Bayern, which also has a game in hand.

Second-place Bayer Leverkusen was also hoping to cut into Bayern's lead, but they too fell short, losing 1-0 at struggling Werder Bremen.

Bremen entered the match having claimed just one point from its previous five fixtures, but Santiato Garcia's goal 16 minutes from time separated the sides, leaving Leverkusen seven points back of Bayern, which will go into the second half of the league season as huge favorites to retain the title.

Mainz notched a 3-2 win at Hamburg in dramatic fashion as Shinji Okazaki scored the winning goal in stoppage time for Mainz after Hamburg's Tomas Rincon was sent off eight minutes earlier.

Freiburg improved its survival hopes with a 2-1 win over Hannover thanks to a pair of first-half goals from Admir Mehmedi, Braunschweig topped Hoffenheim, 1-0, with Torsten Oehrl scoring the lone goal from the penalty spot, while Nurnberg closed out the first half of its season with a 0-0 draw against Schalke, leaving the club without a win through 17 games.