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Nuremberg pull Hannover to late draw

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Photo: DPA
06:43 CET+01:00
Ivory Coast striker Didier Ya Konan hit his first Bundesliga goal since September as Hannover 96 were held to a 2-2 draw at Nuremberg on Sunday.

Having reached the recent Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals, where the Ivory Coast lost to eventual winners Nigeria, Ya Konan, 28, put Hannover ahead with his 68th-minute strike before Nuremberg grabbed an equaliser at the death.

With time almost up, midfielder Sebastian Polter met US defender Timothy Chandler's pin-point cross from the right flank to poach a point as Hannover moved up to 8th, while Nuremberg drop to 14th.

Hannover had taken a first-half lead through Hungary midfielder Szabolcs Huszti before Nuremberg equalised when Japan midfielder Hiroshi Kiyotake's freekick was headed home by Swiss defender Timm Klose on 53 minutes.

Hannover coach Mirko Slomka was sent to the stands for what referee Thorsten Kinhöfer deemed an inappropriate comment to the fourth official on 65 minutes.

Hoffenheim stay 10 points from safety and third from bottom, with just four points from their last 11 matches, as they lost 1-0 at home to VfB Stuttgart as Austria striker Martin Harnik hit the guests' third-minute winner.

After five-straight defeats, this was Stuttgart's first win of 2013 and lifts them up to 12th in the table.

League leaders Bayern Munich finished the weekend with their 15-point lead intact after Friday's 2-0 win at VfL Wolfsburg. Mario Mandzukic netted his sixth goal in four games before Arjen Robben added the second in stoppage time.

It was Bayern's 18th win in 22 matches, their fifth straight victory, and they have yet to concede a goal in 2013 as they head to London for Tuesday's Champions League last 16, first-leg clash against Arsenal.

Defending champions Borussia Dortmund remain second after Germany midfielder Marco Reus netted a hat-trick in Saturday's 3-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt, but Borussia had a striker sent off for the second time in the space of a week.

After Dortmund's Poland star Robert Lewandowski had earned a three-game ban for being sent off against Hamburg last Saturday, his replacement Julian Schieber was dismissed for a second yellow against Frankfurt.

Schieber joins Lewandowski in being banned for next Sunday's game at Mönchengladbach, leaving Dortmund without a specialist striker in their squad.

The appeal against Lewandowski red card will be heard by the German Football Association (DFB) on Tuesday.

Schalke's poor Bundesliga form continued as they twice had to come from behind for a 2-2 draw at Mainz ahead of Wednesday's Champions League trip to Istanbul's Galatasaray.

They face the Turkish league leaders in the last 16, first-leg clash having dropped from second to ninth in the Bundesliga with just one win in their last 11 games, conceding 25 goals in the process – the league's worst record.

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Bayer Leverkusen stay third after their 2-1 win at home to relegation-threatened Augsburg as striker Stefan Kiessling and midfielder Lars Bender both scored.

Dutch midfielder Rafael van der Vaart scored his first goal for Hamburg since May 2008 with a spectacular 24th-minute thunderbolt to secure a 1-0 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach to move his team up to sixth.

Freiburg stay fifth with a 3-2 win at Werder Bremen while Greuther Fürth stay bottom after their 1-0 defeat to Fortuna Düsseldorf.

AFP/jcw

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