Bundesliga: Freiburg falls to foot of table after draw vs. Hanover
BERLIN (AP) — Joselu's late equalizer salvaged a 2-2 draw for Hannover at Freiburg and left the home side bottom of the Bundesliga for the league's six-week winter break on Sunday.
The Spanish striker struck in the third minute of injury time when an attempted clearance from Freiburg goalkeeper Roman Buerki went straight to his feet.
Freiburg would have climbed out of the relegation zone with a win, but remains bottom on goal difference from Borussia Dortmund. Both sides have 15 points at the halfway stage of the season.
"We played our best football of the season in the second half, and then scored two own goals," Freiburg coach Christian Streich said.
Hannover twice hit the post in the first half, through Jimmy Briand and then Joselu before Mike Frantz scored against the run of play for Freiburg before the break.
Felix Klaus struck the post for the hosts seconds after the restart, and Admir Mehmedi struck the crossbar, before Marc-Oliver Kempf made it 2-0 in the 81st with his shoulder from a corner. Kempf was fortunate to be still on the pitch after an earlier tactical foul on Lars Stindl while the last defender.
Stindl set up Leonardo Bittencourt to pull one back two minutes later and Joselu ended the home side's celebrations before they could begin.
"We did a lot right in the second half. Pity to get such a knockout blow again," said Freiburg captain Julian Schuster, whose side has often dropped points late this season.
Earlier, Hertha Berlin slumped to a 5-0 loss at home to Hoffenheim, increasing the hosts' relegation fears.
United States defender John Anthony Brooks had a difficult afternoon, scoring an own goal in the 23rd minute and giving away a penalty two minutes later, when he struck Hoffenheim's Sven Schipplock with an attempted clearance.
Sejad Salihovic punished his former side from the spot, and then again with another penalty in the 39th — awarded after Andreas Beck went down after apparent contact from Nico Schulz. However, TV replays showed the Hoffenheim captain had slipped.
Hertha coach Jos Luhukay's last gambit was the introduction of forwards Salomon Kalou and Sandro Wagner in the 72nd, only for his side to concede to Schipplock on a counterattack two minutes later.
Roberto Firmino, who had given Schipplock a tap-in, capitalized on Peter Niemeyer's mistake to set up Sebastian Rudy in the 84th.
"It's very annoying, but I can't do anything about it now," said Niemeyer, who lost the ball after attempting to dribble out of defense.
Hertha will spend the winter break in 13th place on 18 points, one above Werder Bremen in the relegation playoff spot.
Hoffenheim is seventh on 26 points after its biggest ever Bundesliga win.
"We can put these 26 points under the (Christmas) tree now, turn off for a few days, and then on Jan. 7th it kicks off again," said Hoffenheim coach Markus Gisdol, referring to his side's training schedule.
Unbeaten Bayern Munich leads by 11 points with a Bundesliga-record 45 from the first half of the season.