Hamburg held, Darmstadt shock Hoffenheim

Berlin, Feb 8 (IANS) German football club Hamburg secured a draw on home soil thanks to Nicolai Mueller’s equaliser while newly promoted Darmstadt shocked relegation threatened Hoffenheim 2-0 to complete the 20th round of Bundesliga.

Hamburg shared the spoils on Sunday with Cologne following a 1-1 draw. Simon Zoller opened the scoring for the visitors before Mueller restored parity to secure the ‘HSV’ the first point in 2016, reports Xinhua.

Cologne took the reins from kick-off against uninspired hosts to produce a number of scoring opportunities. Cologne’s Anthony Modeste and Filip Mladenovic came close from promising positions before Zoller broke the deadlock after Jonas Hector’s assist, with four minutes remaining in the first half, reports Xinhua.

After the harmless first-half performance Hamburg coach Bruno Labbadia made amendments and fielded substitute Artjoms Rudnevs, who was in the thick of things as he teed up for Mueller’s leveller in the 47th minute.

Both sides exchanged offensive actions but neither Hamburg nor Cologne were able to mark the winner, although the visitors created more threatening chances in the closing period.

With the draw, Hamburg slipped to 13th place while Cologne remain on ninth in the standings.

“I am satisfied with the performance of my team. We had the chance to win but unfortunately results do not always reflect what we deserve,” Cologne coach Peter Stoeger said.

Elsewhere, newly promoted Darmstadt increased Hoffenheim’s relegation worries as the ‘Lilien’ clinched a 2-0 victory. Aytac Sulu marked the opener by a header (33rd minute) for the visitors before Slobodan Rajkovic sealed the deal with his late goal (85th).

With the result, Darmstadt reaped the sixth win of the season to climb to 11th place whereas Hoffenheim wait for their first win in 2016 to stay in 17th.

“We did not gain a foothold into the game in the first 20 minutes. As soon as we got better, we conceded a goal. That killed the game for us,” Hoffenheim coach Huub Steven said.

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