Hoffenheim deepens Cologne’s crisis, Wolfsburg draws again
BERLIN (AP) — Winless Cologne slumped to another bitter Bundesliga defeat on Sunday when Sandro Wagner scored twice in a 3-0 win for visiting Hoffenheim.
Cologne, bottom of the league with just two points from 11 games, exasperated the home fans with Milos Jojic and Sehrou Guirassy both missing great chances before Wagner sealed the result.
Yuya Osako had gone closest for Cologne when he hit the post in the first half after Dennis Geiger’s ninth-minute strike for Hoffenheim, and the home side’s hopes took another blow when Pawel Olkowski gave away a penalty early in the second half.
Wagner duly converted it and the Germany striker made sure of the result with 10 minutes remaining.
It was Cologne’s ninth defeat in 11 games and it increases the pressure on coach Peter Stoeger, who apparently still has the players’ backing.
“It’s not even an issue. Peter Stoeger has built us up over four years and he led us to Europe. It’s not a coaching problem,” Cologne goalkeeper Timo Horn said.
“We’re not giving up. We’ll keep going,” Horn said.
Wolfsburg missed a penalty and had two goals disallowed through video assistance before drawing for the seventh time straight under new coach Martin Schmidt — this time 3-3 against visiting Hertha Berlin.
Vedad Ibisevic got midtable Hertha off to a flying start 20 seconds after kickoff when Valentino Lazaro played him through.
Mario Gomez and Robin Knoche forced the ball over the line at the other end five minutes later, but the goal was ruled offside after video consultation.
Gomez had another chance from the penalty spot shortly afterward but shot against the crossbar, and Wolfsburg fans got even more frustrated when the video referee ruled another would-be equalizer offside, too.
TV replays showed the offside Daniel Didavi got a light touch to Yunus Malli’s strike.
Malli finally scored a goal that counted when he headed in Divock Origi’s cross in the 41st, and there was still time before the break for Gomez to get his goal with the help of the post.
Karim Rekik equalized early in the second half but Origi deflected the ball in with his stomach to put Wolfsburg back in front.
The home side was contemplating its first win under Schmidt until substitute Davie Selke equalized with minutes remaining.
“A crazy game,” Hertha coach Pal Dardai said.