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Bradley blunts Bayern, Subotic sinks Frankfurt
by Ian Plenderleith, November 17th, 2008 7AM
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[GERMANY] In a dramatic late comeback, Borussia Moenchengladbach scored twice in three minutes to hold Bayern Munich at home, with the equalizer coming from U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley. Leverkusen stayed top after edging Schalke 2-1, while Hoffenheim won a five-goal game at home to Wolfsburg. U.S. defender Neven Subotic scored twice for Dortmund as it downed Eintracht Frankfurt 4-0.

Bradley and his North American colleague, Canadian Rob Friend, scored headers in the 79th and 81st minutes to help Borussia claw back a 2-0 deficit at home to Bayern Munich in an exciting second half. Bayern had taken the lead before halftime when Luca Toni converted Philip Lahm's cross, and extended its advantage on a Franck Ribery penalty kick just past the hour. Bradley, scoring his first Bundesliga goal, converted his well-placed header from six yards out from a subtle cross delivered by Israeli international Roberto Colautti, who'd come into the game just four minutes earlier.

"It's very, very annoying that we let in two goals and are going home with just a point," declared a peeved Bayern Coach Juergen Klinsmann. Borussia coach Hans Meyer had almost thrown in the towel. "When you're 2-0 down, then usually you think: that's it. Fortunately we pulled a goal back just in time, and then you never know what can happen."

Subotic opened the scoring for Borussia Dortmund at home to Frankfurt after just five minutes, heading in a cross from Tamas Hajnal. Hajnal then scored himself before laying on a second for Subotic on 26 minutes, his fifth of the season. Brazilian Felipe Santana gave Hajnal his third assist of the day when he finished the game off in the second half. "Of course, it was nice to go in at half-time 3-0 ahead," said Dortmund Coach Juergen Klopp. "The boys fully deserved the victory."

Leader Bayer Leverkusen's success this season has been built on the strike partnership of Patrick Helmes (10 goals) and Stefan Kiessling (6), both of whom scored in the first half at home to Schalke 04. But after Leverkusen had Gonzalo Castro red-carded with 23 minutes to go, they had to withstand a late Schalke barrage that included a goal from Kevin Kuranyi and a marginally offside effort from Gerald Asamoah in the game's final minute.

"After the red card we came under a lot of pressure," said Leverkusen coach Bruno Labbadia after his team's 2-1 win, "but I was especially pleased by our readiness to fight for every ball." Schalke coach Fred Rutten admitted that Leverkusen's win was "deserved. Our first-half showing was absolutely not Schalke. I was very disappointed. You can't make it that simple for your opponent to score goals."

Second-place Hoffenheim, meanwhile, continued to show how simple it finds scoring, winning by the odd goal in five at home to Wolfsburg. The visitors twice came back in the first half, in which Hoffenheim's Bosnian striker Vedad Ibisevic scored his 14th goal of the season, but Nigerian forward Chinedu Obasi continued his fine form of late by scoring the gamewinner, and his sixth of the season, with 20 minutes left. Hoffenheim trails Leverkusen only by a goal difference of one.

"The win was definitely a bit lucky," acknowledged Hoffenheim's coach, Ralf Rangnick. "It was a tense and absorbing game with both sides very committed, and the outcome was uncertain right up until the last second." Wolfsburg's Felix Magath called his own team "good guests who gave a decent account of ourselves. But Hoffenheim was the somewhat more active team, and therefore its win was not undeserved." So courteous, these German coaches.

Hertha Berlin followed up last week's victory over Hoffenheim with a 2-1 triumph over Hamburg, coming back to win from a 0-1 deficit at the interval through goals from Brazilian Cicero and Bulgarian striker Valeri Domochiyski. The win moved them up to fourth, one point behind Bayern and one ahead of Hamburg. Hamburg coach Martin Jol called it "a bitter defeat after we were so dominant in the first half said."

Things tightened up at the foot of the standings after Energie Cottbus edged fellow struggler Karslruhe, 1-0, at home for only its second win of the season thanks to a late goal from Serbian striker Branko Jelic. Bielefeld picked up a valuable road point in a 0-0 draw at Stuttgart. Steve Cherundolo played through in defense for Hannover in its disappointing 1-1 home tie with Bochum. Bremen returned to form with a 3-1 home win over Cologne on goals from two Brazilians, Diego and Naldo, and Portuguese international Hugo Almeida.

Goals scored: 26 in nine games (2.88 per game)


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