Berlin (AFP) – Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Robert Andrich scored a 90th minute equaliser to snatch his team a 1-1 draw at Hertha Berlin on a day of dramatic late goals in the Bundesliga on Sunday.
Former Hertha academy graduate Robert Andrich struck late against his old club to spare his side’s blushes in a cagey game in the capital.
It was the first of a string of last-minute strikes in the German top flight, as Cologne grabbed a late equaliser at home to Union Berlin, and Eintracht Frankfurt beat Greuther Fuerth in injury time.
Having briefly drawn level on points with league leaders Bayern Munich in October, Leverkusen have now dropped to sixth after four games in a row without a win.
“This result will be good for our morale. We know that results haven’t been good lately, but our young team fought really hard today,” Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky told broadcaster Dazn.
With key attacking players such as Florian Wirtz and Patrik Schick ruled out injured, the visitors struggled to break down a well-drilled Hertha defence on a chilly afternoon in Berlin.
Andrich had the ball in the net for Leverkusen on the half hour mark, but the goal was ruled out after replays showed the ball had gone out of play in the build-up.
The home side broke the deadlock with a fine goal just before half-time, Jovetic smashing in his second goal for Hertha since joining the club at the beginning of the season.
Having received the ball with his back to goal, the veteran forward swivelled and smashed it into the top corner.
Leverkusen struggled to create clear chances in the second half, before Andrich squeezed the equaliser over the line from close range after a poorly defended free-kick.
– Modeste double –
Hertha’s city rivals Union Berlin also conceded a late equaliser, as two goals from French striker Anthony Modeste saw them held to a 2-2 draw away to Cologne.
“Tony is our life insurance at the moment,” said Cologne’s Dejan Ljubicic of team mate Modeste, who rescued a point with his third brace in four games.
Cologne took the lead after just seven minutes when Florian Kainz smashed a long-range effort against the bar and Modeste bundled in the rebound.
Union bounced back just two minutes later, right-back Julian Ryerson fizzing a low shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the area to score his second goal in two games.
Both Modeste and Ondrej Duda had chances to restore the lead before Grischa Proemel pounced on a defensive error at the other end to put the visitors in front.
Victory would have put Union in the top four going into the international break, but Modeste struck again with a late header to level the scores and spare Cologne a first home defeat of the season.
“It’s bitter because three points would have been nice. If we had just scored another, then it would have been a lot easier towards the end,” said Union midfielder Proemel.
Rafael Borre scored an injury-time winner to hand Eintracht Frankfurt a much-needed 2-1 win away to Fuerth.
Sebastian Rode slotted in the opener just five minutes after coming on as a substitute in the second half, before Fuerth went from ecstasy to despair in a rollercoaster last few minutes.
Cedric Itten thought he had rescued a point for the home side when he bundled the ball in at a corner in injury time, but Borre struck at the other end minutes later to give Frankfurt three points and condemn Fuerth to a tenth defeat in 11 games.
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