My Soccer World

Football: Leverkusen Stay Top Of Bundesliga

Posted on: November 16, 2008

BERLIN : United States midfielder Michael Bradley’s late equaliser sealed Borussia Moenchengladbach’s stunning fight-back to claim a 2-2 draw and end Bayern Munich’s winning streak Saturday as Leverkusen stay top of the Bundesliga.

France midfielder Franck Ribery and Italy striker Luca Toni had put Bayern Munich 2-0 up at ‘Gladbach, before the home side scored twice in the last 15 minutes to keep Bayern third in the table behind Hoffenheim and Leverkusen.

Canada striker Rob Friend scored with a header on 78 minutes before Bradley got his head to a cross on 81 minutes to share the points and bring Bayern’s five-match winning streak to an end.

“From our perspective, it is very, very annoying that we conceded two late goals and now we only get to take one point home,” said Bayern coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

“We can’t change what happened and there is now a gap at the top of the table, that is something we have to work on.”

Bayern took the lead on 21 minutes when Italian World Cup winner Toni scored his second goal in two games after he converted a pass from Germany defender Philipp Lahm.

Borussia’s teenage forward Marko Marin, who is in the Germany squad for Wednesday night’s friendly against England at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, was a constant thorn in Munich’s side with probing runs.

Ribery converted a penalty just after the hour mark and it appeared Bayern were cruising to three points until Friend and Bradley nodded Borussia level with time running out to put ‘Gladbach 14th in the league.

Ten-man Bayer Leverskusen stay top of the Bundesliga after their 2-1 win over Schalke 04 thanks to first-half goals by Germany strikers Patrick Helmes and Stefan Kiessling.

Schalke’s ex-Germany striker Kevin Kuranyi scored a consolation goal and Bayer were reduced to ten men with just over an hour played when Gonzalo Castro was sent off on 67 minutes, but the league leaders hung on.

“I must pay a huge compliment to my team that they never lost patience for this important game,” said Bayer coach Bruno Labbadia.

“After the red card, we were under pressure, but the team showed the desire to fight for every ball.”

Second-placed Hoffenheim had a tough time as guests Wolfsburg twice equalised as the scores were locked 2-2 at half-time.

Bosnia striker Vedad Ibisevic scored his 14th goal in 13 games to remain the league’s top scorer to put Hoffenheim ahead on 23 minutes, only for Brazilian Grafite to equalise for Wolfsburg four minutes later.

Hoffenheim’s own Brazilian midfielder Carlos Eduardo restored the lead on 37 minutes only for Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko to equalise four minutes later.

But Hoffenheim stay neck-and-neck with Bayer on 28 points thanks to the 69th minute winner from Nigeria striker Chinedu Obasi.

Two goals in three minutes gave Hertha Berlin a 2-1 win over Hamburg at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium to fire the home side to fourth in the table.

Borussia Dortmund enjoyed a 4-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt as their teenage defender Neven Subotic scored two first half goals to add to the five he already has this season.

In Saturday’s other results, VfB Stuttgart drew 0-0 with Armenia Bielefeld and Energie Cottus picked only their second win of the season when they beat Karlsruhe 1-0.

On Friday, Hanover and Bochum drew 1-1, while on Sunday Werder Bremen host Cologne.

– AFP /ls

Channel News Asia

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