Nuremberg rally for point, Stuttgart end their losing streak


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 - Page 18

Nuremberg substitute Sebastian Polter scored in the second minute of stoppage-time to rescue a 2-2 draw against Hannover 96 in the Bundesliga on Sunday, while VfB Stuttgart ended their five-game losing streak with a 1-0 win at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.

“It’s an important point for us,” Nuremberg coach Michael Wiesinger said after his side preserved their eight-game unbeaten run at home. “The equalizer showed our morale again, but we have to cut out our mistakes.”

Hannover midfielder Szabolcs Huszti opened the scoring against the run of play in the 41st minute when he cut inside defender Timm Klose, before blasting the ball past goalkeeper Raphael Schaefer.

Klose atoned with only his second Nuremberg goal in the 53rd minute, a backward header from Hiroshi Kiyotake’s perfectly delivered free-kick.

Japanese midfielder Mu Kanazaki came on for his Bundesliga debut in the 63rd minute, but the visitors went ahead five minutes later when Mohammed Abdellaoue crossed for Didier Ya Konan.

Nuremberg kept pushing for the equalizer and Polter deservedly scored when US international Timothy Chandler crossed for him to beat Ron-Robert Zieler from close range.

“We have to defend that better. It’s very annoying,” Hannover captain Christian Schulz said. “Very annoying.”

Martin Harnik’s third-minute goal was enough for Stuttgart to climb to 12th and away from the relegation zone, while Hoffenheim are now 10 points adrift in the relegation playoff place.

“That was our worst game today. Such an early goal in our situation cannot be excused,” Hoffenheim coach Marco Kurz said.

Harnik sent Ibrahima Traore free on the left and then met the midfielder’s cross with a header in off the underside of the bar.

Traore — who was outstanding throughout — and Vedad Ibisevic went close shortly afterwards as the visitors dominated, but Hoffenheim came more into the game as the half progressed and Joselu’s effort was deflected narrowly wide in the 38th minute.

Sven Ulreich pulled off crucial saves to deny the hosts an equalizer, most notably in the 64th minute when he got the better of Joselu in a one-on-one when the Spaniard should have scored.

“We fought for the win,” Stuttgart coach Bruno Labbadia said. “We always said we need to remain calm.”