Wolfsburg beats Hoffenheim 2-1 to ease relegation fears

BERLIN (AP) " Daniel Didavi struck for Wolfsburg to come from behind and beat Hoffenheim 2-1, denying the visitors the chance to go third in the Bundesliga on Sunday.

Hoffenheim made the better start, seeking a victory which would have put the team in the last automatic qualification spot for the Champions League with 14 rounds to play.

Kerem Demirbay struck the crossbar with a free kick early on and it seemed just a matter of time before Hoffenheim would score.

Steven Zuber duly broke the deadlock in the 26th minute with a clinical finish inside the far post after Demirbay timed his pass to perfection.

Wolfsburg goalkeeper Diego Benaglio prevented Nadiem Amiri from making it 2-0 before the break.

Sections of Wolfsburg fans vented their frustration after a poor first half but they had reasons to cheer after it, even if Oliver Baumann denied Mario Gomez when the Germany striker should have scored.

Maximilian Arnold scored from the resulting corner, unleashing a fierce strike inside the left post after Hoffenheim only half-cleared the ball.

Benaglio denied Demirbay and then Adam Szalai a response before Jakub Blaszczykowski cleared the loose ball off the line.

Just when it seemed Hoffenheim was back in control, Didavi struck from close range with a little more than a quarter-hour remaining to move Wolfsburg six points above the relegation zone.

"We were lucky to be just 1-0 down at halftime," Wolfsburg coach Valerien Ismael said. "Then we showed another face and finally played with courage going forward."

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FREIBURG 2, COLOGNE 1

Promoted Freiburg enjoyed its seventh win at home, leaving it just three points behind seventh-placed Cologne.

Vincenzo Grifo put the home side ahead after a half-hour when his shot crashed down off the crossbar and back out of goal before Florian Niederlechner made sure. Replays showed Grifo's initial strike crossed the line.

Anthony Modeste equalized with his 16th goal of the season seven minutes later, prodding home the rebound after Alexander Schwolow saved Leonardo Bittencourt's effort.

But Grifo proved decisive again, with Maximilian Philipp grabbing the winner on a rebound with just over 10 minutes remaining when the Italian midfielder tested Cologne 'keeper Thomas Kessler with a free kick.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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