My Soccer World

Football: Late Wellington Header Helps Keep Hoffenheim Top

Posted on: February 8, 2009

BERLIN : A late header from Hoffenheim’s Brazilian striker Wellington sealed a 1-1 draw at bottom club Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday to keep his side top of the Bundesliga while Hamburg were shocked by Karlsruhe.

Hoffenheim were looking down the barrel of a shock defeat thanks to a first-half goal from Bayern Munich-bound Alexander Baumjohann in ‘Gladbach, but Wellington’s 89th minute goal saved Hoffenheim’s blushes.

Baumjohann, 22, will join Bayern this summer on a free transfer, but his superb strike was not enough to lift his side off the bottom of the league.

“We must be content at the end with one point, since we did not play as the way we had planned,” said Hoffenheim coach Ralf Rangnick.

“If we played the way we did for the first 30 minutes, then we can’t expect to win.

“‘Gladbach did everything right and kept us under control.”

And there was disappointment for Hamburg as Martin Jol’s side allowed a 2-0 lead to slip to a dramatic 3-2 defeat at Karlsruhe which drops them to third.

“In the first 20 minutes, we began very well, but then we began to lose balls and we hurried things,” said Jol.

“Nevertheless, we made it 2-0, which was ideal for us.

“It is impossible to accept we conceded three goals and we have given away at least one point.”

Hamburg were coasting at 2-0 after 48 minutes thanks to goals by Peru’s Jose Paolo Guerrero and Namibia’s Collin Benjamin – who scored his first goal in over a year.

But two goals from Karlsruhe in four minutes early in the second-half levelled the scores until striker Sebastian Freis headed his second goal in injury time to give his side three points to go 15th in the table.

Both sides had been reduced to ten-men when first Hamburg’s Mladen Petric was shown a straight red for a dangerous tackle on 76 minutes before Karlsruhe’s Marco Engelhardt was shown his second yellow on 82 minutes.

Fourth-placed Bayern Munich have the chance to go second in the table on Sunday, providing they can beat Borussia Dortmund at the Allianz Arena.

Stuttgart are up to sixth after an impressive 4-2 win at Bayer Leverkusen with Germany striker Mario Gomez warming up for Wednesday’s friendly with Norway with goals either side of half-time.

Leverkusen, who are fifth, were reduced to ten men when Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal hauled down Gomez on 48 minutes with just the goalkeeper to beat and was shown a straight red.

Cologne and Eintracht Frankfurt are both still in mid-table after their 2-2 draw.

Wolfsburg move up to seventh after their 2-0 win at home to VfL Bochum.

On Friday, Poland striker Artur Wichniarek levelled for Arminia Bielefeld as Hertha Berlin’s hopes of taking over at the top of the German league were thwarted by a 1-1 draw.

Former Liverpool striker Andrei Voronin had fired Hertha into an early lead and three points would have put them top instead of Hoffenheim.

But Wichniarek struck just before half-time with his 12th goal of the season.

Bielefeld are now up to 14th in the table having picked up another precious point, while Hertha stay second.

In Sunday’s other game, bottom side Energie Cottbus host strugglers Hanover.

– AFP /ls

Channel News Asia

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