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Forsberg penalty saves Leipzig after phone pair banished


Berlin (AFP) – Sweden playmaker Emil Forsberg converted a second-half penalty for RB Leipzig at Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday in a 1-1 draw with French junior internationals Jean-Kevin Augustin and Nordi Mukiele were dropped in a row over their use of mobile phones.

Furious Leipzig coach Ralf Rangnick threw the French Under-21 talent out of the squad for the Bundesliga match at Frankfurt after the pair were caught using their phones — breaking team protocol — in the build-up to Thursday’s 3-2 Europa League home defeat against Red Bull Salzburg.

“The boys (striker Augustin and midfielder Mukiele) will be back in the squad for training tomorrow and I hope they paid attention to this warning,” said Rangnick after the draw in Frankfurt.

“The topic is now closed for us and we are looking forward to Wednesday’s league game against VfB Stuttgart.”

Hosts Frankfurt went ahead against Leipzig when Swiss midfielder Gelson Fernandes took advantage of disruption in the Leipzig defence to score the opening goal on 26 minutes with RB centre-back Wili Orban off the pitch.

The burly Leipzig defender was being treated for injury on the sidelines when Fernandes fired home a rebound after a save from Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi.

Germany striker Timo Werner then wasted a chance to equalise late in the first half, but the Leipzig forward mistimed his header and sent the ball over.

After a determined start to the second half, Leipzig were rewarded when Forsberg equalised from the penalty spot on 54 minutes after his cross had been handled by Filip Kostic.

The opportunities then came thick and fast for Leipzig as Forsberg fired wide from close range and Werner was unable to convert a late chance.

Earlier, rising Germany star Kai Havertz ended Bayer Leverkusen’s miserable losing start to the season with a second-half winner to seal a 1-0 victory over Mainz and escape the Bundesliga’s bottom three.

Havertz, 19, who made his Germany debut in the 2-1 friendly win against Peru earlier this month, claimed his first Bundesliga goal of the season with a powerful header midway through the first half.

After losing their first three games of 2018/19, Leverkusen climbed up to 15th, leaving bottom side Schalke, who were beaten 2-0 at home by league leaders Bayern Munich on Saturday, as the only team in Germany’s top flight to have lost all four games this season.

However, Leverkusen made hard work of the win at their own BayArena. 

Only an intervention by the video assistant referee denied Mainz the opening goal just after the break when their Sweden striker Robin Quaison, who had just come on, headed the ball into the net, but replays showed the ball clipped his hand in the build-up.

After the let off, Leverkusen took their chance to claim their first win of the season when Havertz headed home a cross from his Germany team-mate Julian Brandt on 62 minutes.

Ridle Baku, 20, fired wide with a late chance for Mainz, who suffered their first defeat of the season to drop to seventh.

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