BERLIN - Bundesliga leaders Hoffenheim grabbed a last-gasp equaliser to snatch a 1-1 draw at bottom side Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday. Brazilian striker Wellington was on target a minute from time as Hoffenheim stayed top with 39 points from 19 games, two points clear of Hertha Berlin. Hamburg SV squandered a two-goal lead, losing 3-2 at Karlsruhe SC to remain third on 36 points while Hertha drew 1-1 at Arminia Bielefeld on Friday. Bayern Munich, fourth on 35 points, host Borussia Dortmund on Sunday. Moenchengladbach stunned the leaders a minute before the break when Alexander Baumjohann, who joins Bayern next season, floated the ball over keeper Daniel Haas. Hoffenheim, the village team who have set the pace with a squad of relatively unknown professionals, needed more than 20 minutes to carve out a decent chance as they lacked the attacking edge that has seen them compile the league's biggest goal tally. Even the return of striker Chinedu Obasi, who came on for Selim Teber after 62 minutes, did little to improve a front line desperately missing injured top scorer Vedad Ibisevic. Wellington finally broke through in the 89th when he headed the equaliser. Hoffenheim coach Ralf Rangnick said his team were lucky to get away with a draw. "We should be happy with the point because we did not play as planned," Rangnick told reporters. "Gladbach played well for 80 minutes and did not allow us to develop our game." WASTED LEAD Hamburg made a bright start, Paolo Guerrero putting them in front after six minutes with a low shot after combining well with David Jarolim. Colin Benjamin added a second in the 48th with a low drive from 12 metres after good work by Jarolim on the left. But celebrations were short-lived as the hosts pulled one back 60 seconds later through Sebastian Freis. They levelled in the 53rd minute through Giovanni Federico before Freis stunned Hamburg deep into stoppage time when he rose above the defence to power in a header and lift his team to 15th spot. Hamburg had striker Mladen Petric sent off for shoving an opponent in the 76th minute. Karlsruhe also finished with 10 men after Marco Engelhardt was dismissed for a second caution in the 82nd. "It is normally impossible to concede three goals after (going 2-0 up)," said Hamburg coach Martin Jol. "We gave away at least one point today." VfB Stuttgart rose to sixth, and remained unbeaten in the league under coach Markus Babbel, when they swept past Bayer Leverkusen 4-2 thanks to two goals from Mario Gomez. Schalke 04, in ninth, ended a string of bad results to beat Werder Bremen 1-0.
7 February 2009
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