Stuttgart beats Bremen 3-2 to climb off Bundesliga bottom
BERLIN (AP) — Daniel Ginczek’s injury-time strike gave Stuttgart a 3-2 victory over Werder Bremen and lifted the home team off the bottom of the Bundesliga on Sunday.
Ginczek scored twice, his winning goal coming after Jannik Vestergaard’s 86th-minute equalizer looked like spoiling the party for the hosts.
Stuttgart captain Christian Gentner fired his side into a 16th-minute lead with a well-struck volley from distance, only for halftime substitute Davie Selke to equalize with a header in the 50th.
Martin Harnik missed two big chances for Stuttgart in as many minutes - sending the ball over in the 61st, and wide of the unguarded net in the 62nd - but he partly made up for this by rounding Bremen goalkeeper Raphael Wolf, who rushed off his line, and crossing for Ginczek to head his first goal in the 70th.
Harnik was sent off with his second yellow card for a bad challenge on Zlatko Junuzuvic in the 84th, and Vestergaard equalized two minutes later with a powerful header, just after Stuttgart coach Huub Stevens brought on an extra defender to protect the lead.
But Ivory Coast midfielder Serey Die set up Ginczek with a perfect through ball for the forward to score through Wolf’s legs in the 91st.
“It’s an incredible feeling. We played a great game. Pure emotion,” Ginczek said. “We have six games left. They’re six finals. We want to win as many of them as we can.”
Stuttgart climbed one point above Hamburger SV, the only founding member of the Bundesliga that has never been relegated but is now bottom after four straight defeats.
The bottom two are automatically relegated. Paderborn was in the relegation playoff place, two points below Freiburg and Hannover.
Earlier, Germany defender Jonas Hector scored as 10-man Cologne boosted its chances of survival with a 3-2 win over Hoffenheim.
Hector gathered the ball near the sideline and went past five lethargic Hoffenheim defenders before scoring what proved to be the winner with a deflected shot in the 78th.
Anthony Modeste scored a late consolation for Hoffenheim, which failed to make the most of its extra man after Cologne defender Pawel Olkowski was sent off for bringing down the French striker in the 69th. Eugen Polanski scored the resulting penalty, eight minutes before Hector ended the visitors’ hopes of a comeback.
Matthias Lehmann opened the scoring with a penalty in the 20th, and Anthony Ujah made it 2-0 in the 54th after good build-up play from Japanese players Yuya Osako and Kazuki Nagasawa.
“It was an important win for us,” said Cologne coach Peter Stoeger, whose side moved 11th, six points clear of the relegation zone.