Doan grabs late winner for Freiburg to leave Hoffenheim last
BERLIN (AP) — Japan midfielder Ritsu Doan struck late for Freiburg to beat Hoffenheim 2-1 on Sunday and leave American coach Pellegrino Matarazzo’s team bottom of the Bundesliga.
It was Matarazzo‘s fifth defeat in five games since taking over as Hoffenheim coach and it stretched the team’s winless run to 14 games.
The visitors got off to a terrible start with Maximilian Eggestein scoring for Freiburg in the fifth minute. Hoffenheim struggled to break through Freiburg’s well-organized defense but finally saw its persistence rewarded when Munas Dabbur set up Angelo Stiller to equalize after the break.
Matarazzo brought on attacking players with 15 minutes remaining as he went for the win, then saw defender Ozan Kabak sent off with his second yellow card for knocking the ball away in the 84th.
There was still time for Doan to score with a volley from Noah Weißhaupt’s cross in the 89th.
“The difference was the Freiburgers' efficiency and the red card, which was unnecessary,” Matarazzo said. “The important thing now is that we process it and recover.”
The win helped Freiburg to consolidate fifth place.
UNION DRAWS AGAIN
Union Berlin missed the chance to reclaim third place when Patrick Wimmer scored late to salvage a 1-1 draw for Wolfsburg in the late game.
It was former leader Union’s fourth game without a win across all competitions. Urs Fischer’s team showed signs of tiredness after its 3-3 draw with Union Saint-Gilloise in the Europa League on Thursday.
Mattias Svanberg struck the crossbar with a free kick and Omar Marmoush failed to put away a great chance for Wolfsburg when he only had Union goalkeeper Frederik Rönnow to beat in the first half.
There was little excitement in the second until Josip Juranović put the visitors ahead with a penalty in the 72nd after a foul on fellow winter signing Aïssa Laïdouni by Josuha Guilavogui.
It was Juranović’s first Bundesliga goal and Union’s first league goal in Wolfsburg since its 2019 promotion.
But Wimmer scored with a deflected shot in the 84th to rescue a point for Wolfsburg.
Union is fourth, behind Leipzig on goal difference.
Bayer Leverkusen survived a late rally from Werder Bremen to win 3-2 for its third straight victory in all competitions.
Adam Hložek’s 83rd-minute header was enough to decide the game despite Niclas Füllkrug’s late penalty for Bremen, which remained 11th.
“It wasn't our most spectacular performance, but we were effective,” Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso said. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports