Tue, Apr 14, 2015 - Page 19 News List

Stuttgart win 3-2, climb off bottom spot

AP, BERLIN

VfB Stuttgart’s Daniel Ginczek, left, controls the ball under pressure from Werder Bremen’s Assani Lukimya during their Bundesliga match at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Stuttgart, Germany, on Sunday.

Photo: EPA

Daniel Ginczek’s injury-time strike gave VfB Stuttgart a 3-2 victory over Werder Bremen and lifted the home team off the bottom of the Bundesliga on Sunday.

Ginczek scored twice, his winning goal coming after Jannik Vestergaard’s 86th-minute equalizer looked like spoiling the party for the hosts.

Stuttgart captain Christian Gentner fired his side into a 16th-minute lead with a well-struck volley from distance, only for half-time substitute Davie Selke to equalize with a header in the 50th minute.

Martin Harnik missed two big chances for Stuttgart in as many minutes — sending the ball over in the 61st minute, and wide of the unguarded net in the 62nd minute — but he partly made up for this by rounding Bremen goalkeeper Raphael Wolf, who rushed off his line, and crossing for Ginczek to head his first goal in the 70th minute.

Harnik was sent off with his second yellow card for a bad challenge on Zlatko Junuzuvic in the 84th minute, and Vestergaard equalized two minutes later with a powerful header, just after Stuttgart coach Huub Stevens brought on an extra defender to protect the lead.

However, Ivory Coast midfielder Serey Die set up Ginczek with a perfect assist for the forward to score through Wolf’s legs in the 91st minute.

“It’s an incredible feeling. We played a great game. Pure emotion,” Ginczek said. “We have six games left. They’re six finals. We want to win as many of them as we can.”

Stuttgart climbed one point above Hamburger SV, the only founding member of the Bundesliga that has never been relegated, but is now bottom after four straight defeats.

The bottom two are automatically relegated. SC Paderborn 07 was in the relegation playoff place, two points below SC Freiburg and Hannover 96.

Earlier, Germany defender Jonas Hector scored as 10-man Cologne boosted their chances of survival with a 3-2 win over TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.

Hector gathered the ball near the sideline and went past five lethargic Hoffenheim defenders before scoring what proved to be the winner with a deflected shot in the 78th minute.

Anthony Modeste scored a late consolation for Hoffenheim, who failed to make the most of their extra man after Cologne defender Pawel Olkowski was sent off for bringing down the striker in the 69th minute. Eugen Polanski scored the resulting penalty, eight minutes before Hector ended the visitors’ hopes of a comeback.

Matthias Lehmann opened the scoring with a penalty in the 20th minute, and Anthony Ujah made it 2-0 in the 54th minute after neat play from Japanese players Yuya Osako and Kazuki Nagasawa.

“It was an important win for us,” said Cologne coach Peter Stoeger, whose side moved up to 11th position, six points clear of the relegation zone.

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