Koo Ja-cheol helps Augsburg to second winKorean midfielder Koo Ja-cheol netted on Sunday to help Bundesliga strugglers Augsburg pick up only their second league win of the season with a 3-2 victory at Fortuna Duesseldorf.
Koo gave Augsburg a 2-0 lead at the break when he scored from a tight angle on the stroke of half-time by firing across Fortuna’s luckless goalkeeper Fabian Giefer to claim his third goal of the season.
The keeper was twice exposed as he first allowed Augsburg striker Sascha Moelders a simple tap in after the ball rolled through his legs on 40 minutes.
Moelders then charged down Giefer’s 71st-minute clearance kick which flew into the Fortuna net to make it 3-0 to the guests.
Australia midfielder Robbie Kruse helped pull a goal back for Fortuna when his 73rd minute pass was converted by striker Stefan Reisinger, who then netted a second on 91 minutes to set up a tense finale.
Just before the final whistle, referee Manuel Graefe disallowed a second Reisinger goal, which would have made it 3-3, after calling a foul against Fortuna replacement striker Dani Schahin, much to the fury of coach Norbert Meier.
“I don’t know what the referee saw before the third goal, for me it was no foul, but we can’t blame the referee for the defeat,” he fumed.
“There shouldn’t be excessive criticism of Giefer, he’s rescued us in previous games.”
Despite the points, Augsburg stays second from bottom, nine points from safety, while Fortuna is 14th.
Earlier, Hamburg was held to a 1-1 draw at Nuremberg as Dutch midfielder Rafael van der Vaart made his first appearance since November.
Former Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur star Van der Vaart, 29, has endured a difficult few months after tearing his hamstring in November, then injuring his thigh, but looked sharp playing behind the strikers.
Hamburg took the lead on 70 minutes when Latvia striker Artjoms Rudnevs headed home, only for Czech Republic striker Tomas Pekhart to level for the hosts five minutes later.
The point moves Hamburg up to ninth while Nuremberg, whose coach Michael Wiesinger was taking charge of his first Bundesliga match, are 15th.
On Saturday, league leaders Bayern Munich enjoyed a 2-0 win at home against bottom side Greuther Fuerth as striker Mario Mandzukic scored either side of half-time for Bayern.
Victory keeps Munich nine points clear of second place Bayer Leverkusen, who enjoyed a 3-1 win at home to fourth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt, although the first-half was briefly held up after away fans lit flares in their block.
Defending champions Borussia Dortmund stayed in touch in third place with an emphatic 5-0 victory at Werder Bremen in sub-zero temperatures.
Mainz was held to a goal-less draw at home by Freiburg as German-American striker Shawn Parker was sent off for the hosts after earning his second yellow a minute from time.
Hoffenheim remains in the bottom three and eight points from safety after a 0-0 draw at home to Moenchengladbach.
On Friday, Schalke 04 earned its first win in seven league games, dating back to November, with a 5-4 win over Hanover to give new coach Jens Keller his first Bundesliga win.
Tottenham Hotspur-bound Lewis Holtby created two goals and scored Schalke’s fifth as eight goals were scored in the second half. AFP