MUNICH - Bayern Munich needed a last-gasp Luca Toni goal to snatch a 2-1 home win over Bundesliga leaders Hoffenheim on Friday and move level on points at the top. Toni scored from close range following a poor clearance by Andreas Ibertsberger, who laid the ball into the Italy striker's path in the final seconds of time added on. "Hoffenheim is the best Bundesliga team we have played," said Bayern coach Juergen Klinsmann. "This was a hard match and it's great to have won it in the end." Champions Bayern now have 34 points and trail this season's surprise package Hoffenheim only on goal difference. Such was the interest in the match, pitting Germany's most successful team against the Bundesliga newcomers who have taken the league by storm, that it was broadcast to 168 countries. It was Bundesliga top scorer Vedad Ibisevic who struck first for the visitors in the 49th minute, netting his 18th goal in 16 league matches to stun a 69,000 crowd at the Allianz Arena. Ibisevic calmly controlled a Tobias Weis cross in the area, turned and volleyed past Bayern goalkeeper Michael Rensing. Bayern hit back on the hour to the relief of the home fans when defender Philipp Lahm fired a deflected shot into the top corner from 17 metres after a fine individual run. Toni missed a great chance to grab Bayern's second in the 68th when his glancing header flew just wide. Hoffenheim could have scored three minutes from time but Rensing did well to block a chip by substitute Sejad Salihovic leaving Toni to grab the winner in the dying seconds. "It's brutal when you loose a game like that," said Hoffenheim coach Ralf Rangnick. "This is an extremely bitter result for us." On Saturday, third-placed Hertha Berlin, four points off the pace, visit Schalke 04 while Bayer Leverkusen, in fourth after a 2-0 defeat at home to Bayern last weekend, visit second-bottom Borussia Moenchengladbach.
5 December 2008
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