Undav late strike snatches Stuttgart point against Heidenheim

AFP , Sunday 31 Mar 2024

Deniz Undav scored in the eighth minute of stoppage time to snatch a point for Stuttgart, pulling the home side level in a pulsating 3-3 Bundesliga draw with visiting Heidenheim on Sunday.

Team work: Stuttgart forward Serhou Guirassy (2ndL) is congratulated by Deniz Undav (R) after he scored the first goal. AFP


The match swung wildly late, Heidenheim's Tim Kleindienst scoring two goals in two minutes before Undav's last-gasp equaliser.

Goals from Serhou Guirassy, his 23rd in 21 league games, and Angelo Stiller, had third-placed Stuttgart in the driver's seat, but a 62nd-minute howler of an own goal from goalkeeper Alex Nuebel gave Heidenheim hope.

Nuebel caught and then dropped a tame Kleindienst header, before allowing it to trickle between his legs and into the goal.

Kleindienst, who scored the crucial goal in the ninth minute of stoppage time which took Heidenheim up to the first division at the end of last season, scored in the 84th and 85th minutes to steal the lead.

Kleindienst tapped in a Jan-Niklas Beste cross to level the scores and then headed in while unmarked in the box.

The visitors were reduced to 10 men after six added minutes, Nikola Dovedan seeing straight red for a rough tackle on Maximilian Mittelstaedt.

Undav, who celebrated a first-ever call-up to the Germany squad earlier in March, salvaged a point for the home side slamming a low drive into the bottom corner with the last kick of the game.

"If you're leading 2-0 at home, you can't give a game away like that," lamented Mittelstaedt on DAZN.

Goalscorer Stiller, who is having a breakout season in the Stuttgart midfield, echoed the comments, saying: "We can't be satisfied with the draw. We can't let that happen."

Stuttgart missed a chance to close the gap with second-placed Bayern to one point, but still sit seven points clear of fifth-placed RB Leipzig as they push for a return to the Champions League.

Stuttgart coach Sebastian Hoeness said his side got carried away.

"After the 2-0, there was a party in the stadium. That's fine for the fans, but we need to stay serious.

"The result is bitter for us."

Guirassy scored for the fourth straight game and is eight behind top scorer Harry Kane in the league this season.

Heidenheim, who host Bayern next week, sit in 11th place and are all but certain to stay in the top division.

In Sunday's late game, rock-bottom Darmstadt came from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Bochum.

A Philipp Hofmann double put the home side in control but a 62nd-minute Tim Skarke goal and an Oscar Vilhelmsson strike with 14 minutes remaining levelled the scores.

Despite the point, Darmstadt are 12 points from safety with seven games left and look set for immediate relegation, having not won since October.

Augsburg stay on European course

Earlier on Sunday, Augsburg drew 1-1 at home with Cologne to regain seventh spot in the Bundesliga, and remain on course for a return to European football.

Arne Maier gave the home side the lead after 18 minutes, but Davie Selke's 33rd-minute goal levelled the scores for the visitors.

Augsburg came into the game on a four-match winning streak and could qualify for Europe for the first time since 2015-16.

Hovering dangerously close to the relegation places when the Danish coach Jess Thorup took over in October, Augsburg have improved rapidly.

Depending on UEFA rankings and German Cup results, seventh spot may be enough for a Europa Conference League place.

The point was cold comfort for Cologne, who are stranded in second-last place, six points from safety with seven games remaining.

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