BUNDESLIGA: Braunschweig rally to claim their first point

AP, BERLIN

Tue, Sep 17, 2013 - Page 18

Eintracht Braunschweig claimed their first top-flight point in 28 years on Sunday by fighting back to earn a 1-1 draw with Nuremberg.

Adam Hlousek scored on his return from injury for Nuremberg in the 28th minute when US defender Timmy Chandler whipped in a dangerous cross for the Czech midfielder to convert at the far post. It was Hlousek’s first game since March last year.

After a period of concerted pressure for the hosts, Omar Elabdellaoui finally equalized in the 70th minute when Karim Bellarabi held up the ball, before setting the defender up to strike to the far corner.

Braunschweig made their return to the top flight this season after a 28-year-absence, but lost their first four games of the season.

“I’d have preferred the three points,” Eintracht Braunschweig coach Thorsten Lieberknecht said. “We also showed in previous games, against [Borussia] Dortmund and [Werder] Bremen, that we have a right to play in this league.”

The promoted side pushed hard for the winner, only to be denied repeatedly by outstanding Nuremberg goalkeeper Raphael Schaefer, who saved Ermin Bicakcic’s point-blank header on the line and produced two fine stops in stoppage-time.

“If we’d taken all our chances it would have been 6-1,” Bellarabi said.

Lieberknecht, who led the side to promotion from the third tier in 2010-2011, was nevertheless encouraged by his side’s performance.

“We’ll do all we can to get the first three points soon. We’re on the right path,” he said.

Earlier, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim withstood a late revival by Borussia Moenchengladbach to win 2-1 for their first league victory at home.

Anthony Modeste opened the scoring just before the interval when his header took a deflection off Filip Daems beyond the helpless goalkeeper.

Kevin Volland, who struck the post with a fierce effort in the fifth minute, made it 2-0 in the 54th when he ran onto Modeste’s pass and eluded two defenders, before dispatching the ball inside the far post from a difficult angle.

Moenchengladbach substitute Branimir Hrgota ensured a lively finish when he beat three defenders and chipped the goalkeeper in the 75th minute.

Hrgota, Max Kruse and Raffael all went close, but could not secure the equalizer.

The visitors had the lion’s share of possession, but failed to create clear-cut chances until it was too late. Patrick Herrmann wasted a good opportunity in the first half, Juan Arango hit the side-netting in the second and then Raffael shot straight at Koen Casteels with the goal at his mercy — just before Volland scored the winner.

“This defeat is hard to accept,” Moenchengladbach coach Lucien Favre said. “We had a lot of possession, but our opponents were always able to attack on the counter. The second goal, for example, shouldn’t happen.”