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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Dortmund Earns Bundesliga Crown

COMBINED REPORTS


BONN -- Even Franz Beckenbauer, who has had a Midas touch in the past, could not stop Borussia Dortmund from clinching the German league championship in the penultimate round of matches held this weekend.


Bayern Munich chairman Beckenbauer controversially fired coach Otto Rehhagel two weeks ago and put himself in charge of the team in a desperate late bid to bring back the title to Bavaria.


But Bayern's challenge crumbled Saturday in a 2-1 defeat at Schalke, allowing Dortmund to seal its fifth championship in 40 years with a 2-2 draw at 1860 Munich. Dortmund has an unassailable four-point lead.


Beckenbauer, one of the most respected figures in the German game, won few friends by dismissing one of the Bundesliga's most prominent coaches, who had guided the club to a UEFA Cup final with a brilliant semifinal defeat of Barcelona.


After his side was killed off by a last-minute winner at Schalke, Germany's former World Cup-winning captain and coach said he made a mistake in sacking Rehhagel with just four games to go.


"I knew I couldn't produce magic in three weeks," he said. "It was all too late. I should have either let things go on as they were or acted earlier."


People talked of a Bayern "Dream Team" after the club spent millions of dollars buying stars such as German internationals Juergen Klinsmann and Thomas Strunz and Swiss Ciriaco Sforza.


Now Bayern must concentrate on Wednesday's second leg of the UEFA Cup final against Bordeaux in France. The Bavarians have a 2-0 lead from the first leg.


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Auxerre clinched its first French league championship as it drew with Guingamp, 1-1, to establish a four-point lead with one week remaining.


Auxerre's Bernard Diomede scored in the 11th minute to give Auxerre the lead against Guingamp. Then Gheorghe Mihali tied it 1-1 in the 75th minute.


Last year's champions, Nantes, beat Metz, 1-0 to drop Metz to third. The Metz loss and the Auxerre draw eliminated Metz. Nantes meets Auxerre to end the season in a match between the former champion and new champion.


Auxerre also won the French Cup last Saturday to mark a rare double by French teams. Auxerre's season was marked by 10 losses, an unusually high number in the 38-match season.


"We made a mediocre first half of the season," said defender Laurent Blanc. "And an excellent second half."


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(For other results, see Scorecard.)