Mon, Oct 20, 2003 - Page 19 News List

VfB Stuttgart takes out Werder Bremenin Bundesliga play

AP , BERLIN

VfB Stuttgart knocked Werder Bremen from the top of the table with an impressive 3-1 victory Saturday, although the high-flying club's record scoreless streak was snapped during the match.

The Bundesliga mark of 885 minutes without yielding a goal -- which will go into the record books as belonging to goalie Timo Hildebrand -- ended in the 60th minute when Angelos Charisteas volleyed through the 'keepers outstretched arms.

But the short cross into Charisteas from Fabian Ernst was clearly irregular. The Germany defender slid into a pass near the goalmouth and legged it to his Greek teammate, but the ball had already skipped outside the line.

"It wasn't a regular goal, but it was a good day anyhow," Hildebrand said. "We won. Now maybe everybody will stop talking about the record."

Stuttgart had refused to give up a league goal in the first eight rounds, and the Bundesliga's hottest team again showed it may not be a fluke.

The Champions League team, already a winner over Manchester United, remains unbeaten (6-3-0) as it moved up to second behind Bayer Leverkusen, a 4-1 winner over hapless Berlin.

The table at the top remained close with Leverkusen at 22 points in nine matches, Stuttgart with 21, Werder Bremen sharing third at 19 with Borussia Dortmund, which routed Hannover 6-2. Bayern Munich remained fifth with 18 points, although the injury ridden defending champions were held to a 0-0 draw by Moenchengladbach, now winless in eight matches.

"That was too little," said Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld.

Bremen controlled play against Stuttgart in the early going at home in front of 40,000 spectators, but didn't earn one dangerous chance against Hildebrand and his top defenders.

Dortmund's rout of Hannover came after his teammates appeared to at first miss Czech playmaker Tomas Rosicky, out with a back injury.

After that Dortmund's game blossomed and Ricken scored in the 41st, Sebastian Kehl in the 57th, Jan Koller in the 65th and 77th and Ewerthon in the 76th.

In other matches, it was: VfL Wolfsburg 3, Hansa Rostock 1; Cologne 1, SC Freiburg 0; 1860 Munich 1, Eintracht Frankfurt 0.

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