WOLFSBURG (AFP) – An 84th-minute equaliser from Wolfsburg’s Patrick Wimmer helped his side snatch a point at home in a 1-1 draw against Union Berlin on Sunday.
Despite Wolfsburg having the better of a less-than-inspiring encounter, a 72nd-minute penalty from former Celtic wing-back Josip Juranovic had Union on course for victory until Wimmer’s late goal.
Union forward Sven Michel said his “exhausted” side have “invested so much” due to their Europa League run alongside their league efforts and “can be satisfied with a point”.
Freiburg’s win earlier on Sunday meant Union, who have been in the top four for much of the season, had slipped to fifth before kick-off.
The home side had the better of a dour opening half, carving out a handful of half-chances against the dogged Union defence.
Wolfsburg midfielder Mattias Svanberg rattled the bar with a free-kick after 17 minutes. Omar Marmoush should have given the home side the lead when one on one with Union goalkeeper Frederik Ronnow, but the Egyptian winger blasted wide.
The two players duelled it out again early in the second half, with Ronnow diving to keep out Marmoush’s low header.
In a rare foray from Union, Josuha Guilavogui clipped Aissa Laidouni’s foot in the box, giving the visitors a spot-kick.
Juranovic sent the ball straight down the middle for his first league goal in Union colours.
Union seemed to have secured another trademark underdog win, but Wimmer’s low strike with six minutes remaining levelled the scores.
Guilavogui said “we wanted to pick up three points and put more pressure on the top six. That unfortunately didn’t happen.”
Earlier on Sunday, Freiburg’s Japanese winger Ritsu Doan scored late to secure a 2-1 home win over under-pressure Hoffenheim.
Trying to keep on track for their first ever taste of Champions League football, Freiburg scored early through Maximilian Eggestein, who pounced on a loose ball after a swerving delivery from Vincenzo Grifo.