No one has scored more goals in the closing minutes of games this season than Borussia Dortmund’s Paco Alcacer. - © DFL
No one has scored more goals in the closing minutes of games this season than Borussia Dortmund’s Paco Alcacer. - © DFL
bundesliga

Paco Alcacer: Borussia’s Dortmund’s last-minute goal king

Paco Alcacer has shown he is the master of suspense in his first season with Borussia Dortmund, proving himself a late-goal expert and playing a massive part in the club’s title challenge.

Since the Spaniard moved to Dortmund ahead of the 2018/19 campaign, BVB fans have seen first-hand the age-old adage that a game isn’t over until it’s over. No team has scored more goals after the 90th minute than Lucien Favre’s charges (eight), while their 23 in the final 15 minutes is also a league best – and 12 of those have come from Alcacer alone.

Just five of his Bundesliga goals have come prior to the 75-minute mark, while he has earned Borussia eight points with winners inside the last 15 minutes (plus the ‘early’ decider in the 73rd minute of the 3-2 victory over Bayern Munich).

bundesliga.com takes you through the reign of the king of late goals…

Matchday 3: Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Eintracht Frankfurt

Alcacer had the perfect bow on the Bundesliga stage, coming on with 23 minutes remaining and scoring with his first shot on goal to wrap up the three points with Borussia’s third in the 88th minute.

Matchday 6: Bayer Leverkusen 2-4 Borussia Dortmund

The striker stepped things up a notch on his second appearance for the club, this time being sent on with 27 minutes left and BVB trailing 2-0. Six minutes later and Dortmund were back level before Paco turned home a Jadon Sancho cross in the 85th minute. He then took his Bundesliga total to three goals in two games from just four shots when he finished off a counter deep in injury time to send the Black-Yellows top of the table.

Matchday 7: Borussia Dortmund 4-3 Augsburg

A game that confirmed Alcacer’s status as super-sub supreme and Dortmund’s match-winner. With his side 1-0 down, Favre sent the Spaniard on in the 59th minute, and just three minutes later he had BVB level with an early-bird 62nd-minute strike. Then the game entered Paco time as he equalised again in the 80th minute before completing his hat-trick with a rocket 96th-minute free-kick to give Dortmund a memorable victory.

Matchday 13: Borussia Dortmund 2-0 Freiburg

Another substitute appearance, another late, late goal for Alcacer as he added to Marco Reus’ first-half strike with his only effort on goal in injury time against Freiburg.

Matchday 16: Fortuna Düsseldorf 2-1 Borussia Dortmund

Promoted Fortuna were in dreamland when they took a 2-0 lead against leaders Dortmund, but then they saw the fourth official holding up the board showing that Borussia’s number nine was about to come on with 29 minutes to go. Alcacer did indeed do what he does best, this time heading home a Lukasz Piszczek cross in the 81st minute, but it wasn’t enough to prevent a first league defeat of the season for BVB.

Matchday 24: Augsburg 2-1 Borussia Dortmund

Almost a carbon copy of the previous game. Borussia trail, Alcacer comes on with around 25 minutes to go and gets a goal back with nine minutes remaining, but again he was unable to prevent a Dortmund defeat as they were finally caught by Bayern at the top of the table.

Alcacer netted another late goal against Augsburg, but it was only a consolation. - imago images / Sven Simon

Matchday 25: Borussia Dortmund 3-1 VfB Stuttgart

No mistake on this occasion, however, as Alcacer – making a rare start – kept Dortmund level with the record champions by turning a draw into a win late on. The Spaniard smashed home after some neat footwork in the box from Christian Pulisic before the American paid homage to the king with an injury-time strike of his own.

Matchday 27: Borussia Dortmund 2-0 Wolfsburg

With Bayern drawing 1-1 at Freiburg, Dortmund had a chance to put some distance between themselves and the record champions, but they couldn’t find a way past Wolfsburg! Ninety minutes were up, the game was tied 0-0 and then Borussia were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box.

The Signal Iduna Park had seen Alcacer score a winning free-kick in injury time already this season – would lightning strike twice? You bet! The Spaniard’s driven effort found its way through the Wolves’ wall and past the goalkeeper as 80,000 Black-and-Yellow fans erupted. Alcacer wasn’t done there, though, and took his total for injury-time goals this season to five when he turned home Sancho’s pass on the break.

Matchday 30: Freiburg 0-4 Borussia Dortmund

A game that proved tougher for Dortmund than the scoreline suggests, they eventually got the job done thanks to Reus, Sancho and Mario Götze before the super-sub did his thing, only this time from the penalty spot. The Spaniard converted his first spot-kick in the Bundesliga in the 87th minute to take his total for the season to 17, 12 of which have come inside the final quarter of an hour.