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Sports

Last-Minute Bayern Goal Secures Victory Over Hoffenheim

Italy striker Luca Toni scored in stoppage time as Bayern Munich came from behind to beat Hoffenheim 2-1 in the Bundesliga's top-of-the-table clash on Friday, Dec. 5. Hoffenheim remain league leaders.

Munich's Luca Toni tries to score against Hoffenheim's goalkeeper Daniel Haas

Luca Toni had several chances to score before putting one in after 88 minutes

The win lifts Bayern to 34 points, level with promoted Hoffenheim who stay top on goal difference.

Bundesliga hotshot Vedad Ibisevic struck again as Hoffenheim took the lead shortly after the break, but Philipp Lahm levelled on the hour for Bayern.

"It was a tense and exciting game and it's super that we won in the end," Bayern coach Juergen Klinsmann said. "We had enough chances to score the second goal earlier."

Ibisevic struck his 18th goal in 16 games to stun Bayern in the 49th minute following an even first half in which Luca Toni had an early chance for Bayern only to hit the side-netting.

Record scoring threat?

Hoffenheim's Vedad Ibisevic scores against Bayern

Ibisevic is shooting to beat Mueller's goal-scoring record

Tobias Weis started the move for the visitors, combining well with Chinedu Obasi before crossing to find Ibisevic who shrugged off Massimo Oddo and turned to rifle the ball past keeper Michael Rensing.

Oddo claimed he had been fouled, but it was a goal very much in the mold of Bayern legend Gerd Mueller whose record of 40 league goals in a season could be under threat from the Bosnia striker.

"We put a lot into the game, ran and worked hard but in the end we have nothing to show for it which is a pity," Ibisevic said. "It is undeserved if you look at the game, but life goes on. We have to learn quickly that you shouldn't lose games like this."

Hoffenheim had come out after half-time with all guns blazing and Carlos Eduardo went close to a second with a long-range effort turned round the post by Rensing.

Plenty of opportunities

Munich's Michael Rensing, center, saves the ball

Observers said composure in the final minutes sets Bayern apart from the German league

It was Bayern who struck when Lahm set off on an unhindered run towards the edge of the area where his shot was deflected into the top corner by Marvin Compper.

The goal revived Bayern who came close eight minutes later when a quickly-taken Oddo free-kick found Toni who glanced his header wide of a gaping goal.

Bayern looked closer to finding a second and there were several scares for the Hoffenheim defense, with Toni again glancing a header wide and Miroslav Klose shooting tamely on the break.

However the visitors had an even better opportunity when Sejad Salihovic played a one-two with Ibisevic and found himself clear only to be foiled by Rensing.

Toni then headed over the bar from close range, but the Italy striker finally settled the game with a minute already gone of stoppage time.

A 'brutal' end

Hoffenheim's Vedad Ibesevic celebrates

Hoffenheim had hoped to do more celebrating at the end of the match

There appeared to be little danger for Hoffenheim but defender Andreas Ibertsberger went in for sliding tackle only to direct the ball straight into the path of Toni who had little problem in finding the net.

Hoffenheim coach Ralf Rangnick said it was a "brutal" end to the match for his side.

"The result is very bitter," he said. "A draw would have been absolutely deserved and we had a great chance ourselves to win near the end."

Hertha Berlin could close the gap to one point if they beat Schalke 04 away in the Bundesliga's main program on Saturday.

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