Tue, Apr 05, 2011 - Page 19 News List

Wolfsburg move closer to safety

AFP and Reuters, BERLIN

Former Bundesliga champions VfL Wolfsburg took a step closer to safety on Sunday with a late equalizer to draw 1-1 at home with Eintracht Frankfurt, despite having been reduced to 10 men.

A second-half goal from Frankfurt midfielder Alexander Meier put the visitors ahead before the Wolves had Germany defender Arne Friedrich sent off for a second yellow card. He will now miss Saturday’s game at Schalke 04.

Wolfsburg hit back with an 85th-minute header from Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic to snatch a point which lifts them up to 16th in the table and two points away from escaping the bottom three.

“We conceded a goal from an offside position and the red card was too strict,” Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath said. “So given these wrong decisions I am happy that we still managed to get a point.”

He will be hoping for a more impressive performance when he returns to Gelsenkirchen-based Schalke this weekend after the Royal Blues sacked him last month.

Earlier Cologne striker Milivoje Novakovic scored with virtually the last kick of the game to give his side a 1-0 win over Nuremberg and claim their seventh straight home win.

After his team had wasted a string of chances, Novakovic finally scored in the 92nd minute to claim his 12 goal of the season from 22 games and continue Cologne’s remarkable run.

“It was a tight battle and in the end we managed to get in the lucky punch,” Cologne coach Frank Schaefer said. “It was an important step that allows us to keep our target [of staying up] in sight.”

The last time Cologne failed to win at home in the German league was back in November and the purple patch has seen them leave the relegation zone far behind to go tenth.

The defeat leaves Nuremberg sixth and just outside next season’s European places.

On Saturday, Borussia Dortmund came from behind to floor Bundesliga title rivals Hannover 96 with a 4-1 victory which maintained their seven-point lead at the top of the table.

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