Tue, Oct 07, 2008 - Page 18 News List

BUNDES LIGA: Petric scores late to send Hamburg three points clear

AP AND AFP , BERLIN AND MUNCHENGLADBACH, GERMANY

Hamburg’s Croatia international Mladen Petric scored a winner in the last minute to grab a 2-1 victory at Energie Cottbus on Sunday to move the club three points clear at the top of the German league table. Hamburg, a low-profile club with an impressive attack having scored 14 goals in their seven matches to date, thanked Petric’s intervention for their fifth win of the season. Earlier, Cottbus’ Serbian striker Branko Jelic had equalized in the 73rd minute to cancel out Croatian Ivica Olic’s 53rd minute opener.

Hamburg have 16 points, three ahead of both Hoffenheim, who beat Eintracht Frankfurt with two goals from Demba Ba, and VfB Stuttgart, who thrashed Werder Bremen 4-1 on Saturday.

Bayer Leverkusen dropped from second to fourth, four points adrift, following a 1-0 home defeat to Hertha Berlin.

Meanwhile on Sunday, Borussia Munchengladbach became the first Bundesliga team to fire its coach this season, relieving Jos Luhukay of his duties on Sunday.

“The sports management and club leaders thoroughly discussed the situation last night and today [Sunday] and we came to the conclusion that we will continue on without Jos Luhukay,” Munchengladbach president Rolf Koenigs said.

Luhukay, a 45-year-old Dutchman, helped Gladbach gain promotion to the top division last season after joining the team on Jan. 31 last year.

The five-time German champions came into this season with high expectations, but have lost six of their first seven matches and are in last place with three points.

“We are looking for a new coach right now who fits in with the team,” said Munchengladbach sports director Christian Ziege, who will take over the coaching duties until a replacement is found.

“But we will not take any quick actions,” Ziege said.

German Bundesliga

Team P GD PTS

1 Hamburg 7 3 16

2 TSG Hoffenheim 7 4 13

3 VfB Stuttgart 7 4 13

4 Bayer Leverkusen 7 7 12

5 Schalke 04 7 4 12

6 Borussia Dortmund7 2 12

7 Werder Bremen 7 3 11

8 Hertha Berlin 7 0 11

9 Wolfsburg 7 3 10

10 Cologne 7 -2 10

11 Bayern Munich 7 2 9

12 Karlsruhe 6 -2 9

13 Hannover 96 7 -4 8

14 VfL Bochum 7 -1 6

15 Arminia Bielefeld7 -3 6

16 Cottbus 7 -7 5

17 Eintracht Frankfurt6 -4 3

18 Borussia M’gladbach7 -9 3

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