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    Sunday, March 31, 2024

    Germany Forward Undav Rescues 3-3 Draw for Stuttgart with Heidenheim in Bundesliga

    Germany forward Deniz Undav scored in stoppage time to rescue a 3-3 draw for third-place Stuttgart against Heidenheim in the Bundesliga on Sunday, preserving the team’s seven-game unbeaten streak after a dramatic finale.

    An own-goal from Stuttgart goalkeeper Alexander Nübel and two quick-fire goals from Tim Kleindienst had given the visitors a late 3-2 lead.

    But Maximilian Mittelstädt sent a long ball forward for Undav to take with his back toward goal. Undav eluded two defenders as he turned and scored inside the far corner for Stuttgart’s equalizer.

    Neither team was happy with the draw.

    “We’re not happy because we took over the game completely when we got the goal back, we believed in ourselves, turned the game around with unbelievable will and then conceded the equalizer in the 90th-plus-eight,” said Heidenheim coach Frank Schmidt, who led Heidenheim to its first promotion last season.

    “In the end it’s still a point. Despite all the disappointment of my team, which is of course really annoyed that we gave the game away – that’s why we’re not happy – but after a day’s distance and a night’s sleep, I’ll tell the team tomorrow that we took a point from the third-place team in the table, who will probably play Champions League next season. That’s worth something,” Schmidt said. “In two games against VfB Stuttgart we’ve collected four points. We shouldn’t forget that.”

    The home team thought it had made a great start with Serhou Guirassy firing inside the left post after a fast break involving Undav and fellow Germany player Chris Führich, but the goal was ruled out after a VAR check for offside.

    Guirassy did score in the 41st to take his tally to 23 goals in 21 league appearances. Angelo Stiller combined with Undav to give Guirassy an easy finish, and Stiller gave Stuttgart a comfortable 2-0 lead early in the second half after another perfectly played combination with Undav.

    The visitors got one back in the 62nd when Nübel dropped a harmless-looking header from Kleindienst that saw the ball squirm between his legs.

    Kleindienst wasn’t done yet. The 28-year-old forward equalized in the 84th with a volley to Jan-Niklas Beste’s cross, then headed in Eren Dinkçi’s cross a minute later.

    Heidenheim forward Nikola Dovedan was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Mittelstädt just before Undav preserved Stuttgart’s unbeaten run and gained a point for its Champions League qualification bid. The top four in Germany are sure of qualifying for Europe’s premier club competition. Stuttgart has a seven-point cushion over fifth-place Leipzig with seven games remaining.

    Sunday’s match was the 1,000th Bundesliga game to be played in Stuttgart’s stadium, formerly known as the Neckarstadion before sponsors paid to rename it. The Stuttgarter Kickers played in 36 of those games in the 1988-89 and 1991-92 seasons.

    Augsburg drew with Cologne 1-1 in the early game, leaving Cologne in relegation danger. The Billy Goats were second from bottom, six points from safety.

    Bochum could increase that gap later Sunday when it played last-place Darmstadt in another relegation fight. -AP

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