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Sports

Cologne rack up seventh straight win at home

Cologne have snatched a last-minute victory against Nuremberg in an impressive seventh straight win at home. Meanwhile, the hyped match between Wolfsburg and Frankfurt ended in a draw.

Header in Cologne, Nuremberg match

Cologne's win puts the team in 10th place

A last-minute goal against Nuremberg gave Cologne their seventh home win in a row on Sunday. Striker Milivoje Novakovic put the home side 1-0 up in the last minute of injury time, tapping in a low cross from Slawomir Peszko.

Cologne coach Frank Schaefer said his team struck "the lucky punch," bumping them up to 10th place in the table. Nuremberg stay in sixth, just outside next season's European places.

In Sunday's other game, Wolfsburg nabbed a late equalizer against Eintracht Frankfurt, to rescue a 1-1 draw. The match was billed as the big coaching battle of the week, with Frankfurt's new coach Christoph Daum taking on Wolfsburg's Felix Magath, who returned to the team last month after being sacked from Schalke.

Wolfsburg dominated the game, yet it was Frankfurt who took the lead in the second half, with a goal from Alexander Meier. The Wolves then went down to 10 men in the 72nd minute after a strict red card decision saw Arne Friedrich sent off. Despite the decision, Wolfsburg battled on to snatch an equalizer, headed in by Mario Mandzukic.

Dortmund maintains edge

Borussia Dortmund came from behind on Saturday to overtake Hanover in a 4-1 victory, maintaining a seven-point edge in the Bundesliga over their closest rival Bayer Leverkusen.

Dortmund Hanover match

Dortmund maintained its edge over Leverkusen

Hanover's Mohammed Abdellaoue put them ahead in the 56th minute, tapping a corner kick into the far left post. However, within minutes Dortmund managed to turn the tide as wunderkind Mario Götze scored the equalizer in the 59th minute. This was quickly followed by a Lucas Barrios double and Kevin Grosskreutz made it four.

"That was a very important victory," said Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp. "Hanover is a strong team that demanded everything of us."

With six games left in the league, Dortmund are increasingly close to their first Bundesliga title since 2002. They've seen their 12-point lead slowly whittled down to seven in the past weeks.

Chasing their lead is Bayer Leverkusen, who beat Kaiserslautern 1-0 to keep their title hopes alive. Midfielder Sidney Sam scored the goal, netting those vital three points.

"I'm pleased that we managed to confirm our position as number two," said Leverkusen coach Jupp Heynckes. "We have to continue in this way."

Bayern takes third

Meanwhile, Bayern Munich managed to overtake Hanover for the Bundesliga's third place after defeating Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-0. Last year's top team, Bayern are struggling to make it into the Champions League.

"That was a victory we had to work for," said Bayern's goal scorer Arjen Robben. "In the end the three points were really important. We are trying to gain momentum and win seven games in a row. Today was the first victory."

Saturday's other afternoon games, Mainz and Freiburg ended 1-1, as did the tie between Werder Bremen and Stuttgart. Saturday's late game, Hamburg at Hoffenheim, ended in an uninspiring 0-0.

Author: Spencer Kimball, Catherine Bolsover (Reuters, dpa, AP)
Editor: Martin Kuebler

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