Berlin, March 9 (IANS) Bayer Leverkusen’s late goals increased SC Paderborn 07’s relegation worries while FC Cologne’s three goals within 10 minutes downed Eintracht Frankfurt 4-2 to close the 24th round in Bundesliga.
Newly-promoted and relegation-threatened Paderborn were able to hold the pace with Leverkusen until the 73rd minute on Sunday. But three late goals secured the “Werkself” a vital win on the road, reports Xinhua.
After a goalless first half, Paderborn took the reins but their poor finish denied them decisive points in their battle to escape relegation.
Paderborn’s Stefan Kutschke squandered two promising opportunities to break the deadlock. As a result, Leverkusen’s Kyriakos Papadopoulos punished the poor chance conversion by the hosts with a header following a Gonzalo Castro free kick in the 73rd minute.
The deficit took the wind out of Paderborn’s sails as Leverkusen’s Heung Min Son donated a brace within six minutes to put the game beyond doubt.
With the victory, Leverkusen defended the fourth place, which is a Champions League playoff spot, while Paderborn stay on the relegation playoff spot two points short of safety.
Elsewhere, Cologne secured their first win after five winless games thanks to the 4-2 victory at Frankfurt.
Cologne opened the scoring through Deyverson in the 28th minute. Unmarked Anthony Ujah had the chance to double the lead but he missed the chance before the break. The hosts restored parity after the break through Alexander Meier, who slotted home with a followup shot from a sharp angle in the 58th minute.
The equaliser gave Frankfurt momentum but it were Cologne who grabbed the lead for the second time when Marcel Risse made it 2-1 on the scoreboard from 16 metres into the near post corner in the 72nd minute.
Frankfurt wobbled and had to concede another goal, as Yuya Osako tapped in a through ball by Ujah seven minutes later to make the game safe.
Cologne were not done with the scoring as Ujah also got his name on the scoreboards in the 82nd minute before Frankfurt’s Alexander Meier reduced the arrears to 4-2. Meier’s 18th goal of the season moved him atop the scorers’ standings.
Cologne had to complete the game with 10-men as Kevin Wimmer saw a straight red card for a professional foul in the dying minutes of the game.
The seventh win of the season moved newly-promoted Cologne to the 11th place while Frankfurt slumped to the ninth.