Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund needed a late equaliser to seal a 1-1 draw at ten-man Hamburg to stay on course for their first league title since 2002 with five games remaining. With second-placed Bayer Leverkusen hosting second-from-bottom St Pauli tomorrow, Dortmund's eight-point lead at the top of the table could be cut to five.
"We had to wait a long time for the equaliser, but we deserved the 1-1 draw," said Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp after Dortmund midfielder Kuba scored in the 92nd minute.
"We didn't really play enough football in the first half, but after that we played with much more purpose. I can live with the result."
Dortmund fell behind when Hamburg striker Mladen Petric was fouled from behind by Germany defender Mats Hummels in the penalty area and ex-Real Madrid star Ruud van Nistelrooy fired home from the spot on 39 minutes.
Hamburg were reduced to ten men when 22-year-old midfielder Aenis Ben-Hatira was sent off for a second yellow card late in the game. With time almost up, Poland midfielder Jakub Blaszczykowski, known as Kuba for short, latched onto the end of a towering pass from ex-Germany defender Patrick Owomoyela to fire home and give his side a valuable point.
Hannover went third at the expense of defending champions Bayern Munich with a 2-0 win at home to Mainz. Ivory Coast striker Didier Ya Konan put the hosts ahead with a penalty on the stroke of half-time while Hannover midfielder Sergio Pinto added a second after the break.
Bayern are in fourth place after they drew 1-1 at Nuremberg in the Bavarian derby, while Dutch winger Arjen Robben earned a red card in the 93rd minute for insulting the referee. Germany midfielder Thomas Mueller put the guests ahead after just five minutes, but Nuremberg striker Christian Eigler equalised on the hour mark to share the points.
"It is not the first time this season we have given away a 1-0 lead as we did today," said Bayern coach Louis van Gaal who is being replaced by Leverkusen coach Jupp Heynckes at the end of the season.
"We brought their goal on ourselves, which is disappointing. Arjen Robben let himself go, he was a bit frustrated, but he's a professional and should control himself."
The draw means Bayern are still six points short of second place and a guaranteed UEFA Champions League place next season.
Schalke in good form
Fresh from their 5-2 win at holder Inter Milan in the Champions League in midweek, Schalke 04 earned a 1-0 home over VfL Wolfsburg, whose ex-coach Felix Magath returned to Gelsenkirchen just three weeks after being sacked by Schalke. The defeat leaves 2009 German champions Wolfsburg third from bottom and two points from safety while Schalke are up to ninth.
Hoffenheim are down to tenth in the table after losing 3-2 at Freiburg. Kaiserslautern are six points clear of the drop zone after they fought back to win 4-2 at Stuttgart in a relegation battle. The loss leaves the hosts just one place above the bottom three.
Relegation-threatened Werder Bremen and Eintracht Frankfurt shared the points with a 1-1 draw on Friday night in Frankfurt to keep both teams above the bottom three.