Asians in the Bundesliga: Matchday 15

It was a disappointing weekend for the Bundesliga’s Asian contingent with none of the five players that featured tasting victory for their respective sides.


It was another disappointing outing for Borussia Dortmund as their poor start to the season continued with a 2-1 loss at home to Hertha Berlin.

Shinji Kagawa played the full 90 minutes for BVB and tried his best to get his side going in the attacking third.

The Japan international forced Jiri Pavlenka into a smart save in the 47th minute, unleashing a powerful left-footed drive from the edge of the box that the Bremen goalkeeper did well to tip over.

However, Dortmund’s season was best summed up in the 72nd minute, when Kagawa had a gilt-edged opportunity from three yards out but somehow smashed his shot into the back of team-mate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – and could only watch on in horror as the ball ricocheted harmlessly over the bar.


Into his second year on loan from Arsenal, Takuma Asano has enjoyed a decent start to his German top-flight experience, although Stuttgart remain dangerously close to the relegation zone at the moment.

Asano started on the bench in Saturday’s clash with Bayer Leverkusen and only played just the last five minutes of what turned out to be a 2-0 loss, replacing Berkay Ozcan with the contest effectively over.


Hamburg captain Gotoku Sakai was named on the bench for the game against Wolfsburg and ultimately did not get on the field in the 0-0 draw.

Instead, it was his Japanese compatriot Tatsuya Ito who started on the wing and lasted an hour before being hauled off for Luca Waldschmidt.


The one game of the round with a real Asian flavour to it, with up to four players from Asian Football Confederation (AFC) nations on the combined books of Augsburg and Hertha Berlin.

In the end, only two of them featured in the 1-1 draw at the WWK Arena.

Koo Ja-cheol played 80 minutes for Augsburg before being replaced by Rani Khedira, younger brother of Germany international Sami, while fellow South Korean Ji Dong-won was an unused substitute.

Meanwhile, Australia international Mathew Leckie also played from the start for Hertha but the main impression he made was a booking shortly after the half-hour mark, after which he was brought off for Alexander Esswein in the 58th minute.