Gomez streak ends as Wolfsburg comes up short in Bundesliga
ABS-CBN Sports on Apr 06, 2017 12:04 PM
Wolfsburg's Mario Gomez scores his third goal during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Bayer Leverkusen and VfL Wolfsburg in Leverkusen, Germany, Sunday, April 2, 2017. The match ended 3-3, Gomez scored a hattrick. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
CIARAN FAHEY, Associated Press
BERLIN (AP) — Mario Gomez's remarkable run of scoring in every Bundesliga game under Wolfsburg coach Andries Jonker finally ended Wednesday in a 1-0 defeat at home to Freiburg.
Florian Niederlechner scored late to lift Freiburg to seventh and leave Wolfsburg, Bundesliga champion in 2009 and Champions League quarterfinalist last year, teetering just a point above the relegation zone.
Gomez missed a number of chances as both he and Jonker, Wolfsburg's third coach of the season after Valerien Ismael and Dieter Hecking were sacked, couldn't prevent their first defeat together.
Wolfsburg had been on a four-game unbeaten run since Jonker took over.
Gomez scored in all his previous nine games under Jonker, including five for Bayern Munich where Jonker was interim coach in 2011. He took his tally to 15 goals in nine games under the Dutch coach with a seven-minute hat trick against Bayer Leverkusen at the weekend, but his luck ran out against Freiburg.
"We can't just rely on Mario," Wolfsburg midfielder Christian Traesch said.
MAINZ 2, LEIPZIG 3
Mainz was better in the first half, winning challenges, closing down space, forcing the initiative and creating good chances, but the home side was left to rue its missed opportunities when Leipzig scored right after the break.
Emil Forsberg sent Bernardo's cross back in with his heel and Marcel Sabitzer was there to head it in.
Timo Werner made it 2-0 with a header from Forsberg's corner minutes later.
Jairo Samperio pulled one back with a penalty and Levin Oztunali went close too before Mainz substitute Yoshinori Muto struck the post.
Then Naby Keita killed any hopes of a comeback with less than 10 minutes remaining when he controlled the ball with his chest in the center circle and set off past seven Mainz players to score after a one-two with Yussuf Poulsen.
Jean-Philippe Gbamin was sent off late for Mainz, before Muto scored in injury time for an exciting finale.
Only goal difference keeps Mainz out of the relegation zone, while Leipzig consolidated second place, 10 points behind Bayern Munich, which slipped to its second defeat of the season on Tuesday.
"Now we can go with confidence into the rest of the season's games," said Leipzig captain Willi Orban, whose side enjoys a four-point cushion over Hoffenheim in the last automatic Champions League qualification place.
AUGSBURG 2, INGOLSTADT 3
Ingolstadt gave itself a lifeline in the fight against relegation with a victory that left Augsburg in deep trouble.
First half goals from Sonny Kittel and Almog Cohen for Ingolstadt earned the home side whistles from fans at the break, and things got worse in the second half when Cohen claimed his second goal of the night.
Paul Verhaegh pulled one back with a penalty and Halil Altintop scored late, but Ingolstadt held for what could be a vital win.
The visitors remained second from bottom, but closed the gap on Augsburg in the relegation playoff place to just four points.
Augsburg is winless in five games, while Ingolstadt recorded its second successive victory over a relegation rival.
BORUSSIA MOENCHENGLADBACH 1, HERTHA BERLIN 0
Hertha's slump continued as it slipped to sixth place after its third straight defeat and its seventh straight on the road.
Laszlo Benes fired the winner in the early stages after Lars Stindl found him in a central position. The 19-year-old Slovakian looked up, took a touch away from the Hertha defender and let fly for his first Bundesliga goal on his first league start.
Alexander Esswein went agonizingly close to equalizing and Salomon Kalou hit the crossbar with a free kick before the break.
Kalou also went close after the interval as Hertha kept pushing but 'Gladbach held on to move ninth.
The 17-year-old Palko Dardai remained an unused substitute for Hertha.
"Perhaps another coach would have thrown him on but he needs to do more," said his father, Hertha coach Pal Dardai.
DARMSTADT 0, BAYER LEVERKUSEN 2
Julian Brandt fired the visitors ahead early on after Kevin Volland cut through the Darmstadt defense to send the ball in, and the 20-year-old returned the favor for Volland to make it 2-0 after the break.
It was Leverkusen coach Tayfun Korkut's first win in four games since taking over from sacked predecessor Roger Schmidt. His side climbed six points above the relegation zone, while Darmstadt remained bottom, 14 points from safety with relegation approaching after its sixth defeat in seven games.