Darmstadt draw 0-0 against Cologne

AP, DUESSELDORF, Germany

Sun, Nov 29, 2015 - Page 19

Tennis star Andrea Petkovic barbequed sausages, but could not inspire her hometown side to a Bundesliga win as SV Darmstadt 98 played out a 0-0 draw with Cologne on Friday.

Petkovic cooked sausages and served fans before the game to fulfill a promise she had made ahead of the opening game of the season, saying she would man the grill if Darmstadt did not lose to Hannover. The club drew 2-2 and held her to the pledge.

“Gambling debts are a matter of honor,” said Petkovic, who joined fellow tennis player Sabine Lisicki in the stands once she had completed her duty.

Darmstadt started brightly, with Jan Rosenthal shooting narrowly wide early on and setting up Sandro Wagner to fire over later.

The visitors gradually improved, but missed a number of chances. Milos Jojic almost scored a minute after coming on in the second half, only to be denied by a last-ditch tackle. Cologne also had a penalty appeal waved away.

“It wasn’t a pretty game. We knew it would be difficult,” said Cologne midfielder Matthias Lehmann, who rued the missed chances. “We were just missing that final will to get the thing over the line.”

Referee Deniz Aytekin suffered a tendon tear during the game and was replaced by Christian Dietz, who made his top-flight debut.

Darmstadt climbed provisionally to 12th and Cologne are eighth ahead of the rest of the 14th round.

LA LIGA

A first-half goal by striker Ruben Castro on Friday gave Real Betis Balompie a 1-0 win at relegation-threatened Levante UD in Spain’s La Liga.

Betis midfielder Joaquin Sanchez threaded the ball to teammate Castro, who curved a shot into the net in the fourth minute for his eighth goal this season.

Levante missed two chances to equalize five minutes later when Antonio “Verza” Garcia hit the near post, only for Deyverson to also kick the rebound into the woodwork while speeding toward an open goal.

Levante goalkeeper Ruben Martinez tipped Sanchez’s lob over the crossbar in the 34th and Deyverson hit the bar in the 55th.

Martinez made an athletic full-stretch save in the 70th and Betis defender Heiko Westermann was sent off nine minutes later for a second yellow card.

Betis rose provisionally to ninth place.