Bayern stretches Bundesliga lead, Cologne grabs 1st win

Munich's Kingsley Comanleft, challenges with Stuttgart's Holger Badstuber during the German Bundesliga soccer match between VfB Stuttgart and Bayern Munich, in Stuttgart, Germany, Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. (Deniz Calagan/dpa via AP)

By CIARAN FAHEY

Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) Bayern Munich goalkeeper Sven Ulreich saved a penalty in injury time as the defending champion stretched its Bundesliga lead to 11 points with a 1-0 win at Stuttgart on Saturday.

Thomas Mueller's late strike lifted Bayern to 41 points at the halfway stage of the season.

The home side made it difficult for Bayern's players to impose themselves on the game. Robert Lewandowski went close in the first minute but there were few chances afterward.

Ron-Robert Zieler got the better of Corentin Tolisso in a one-on-one before the break, and Kingsley Coman drew another good save from the Stuttgart 'keeper after the interval.

Mueller, who came on as a substitute, finally broke the deadlock with just over 10 minutes remaining when he controlled Rafinha's cross and fired a low hard shot inside the near post.

Coman and Lewandowski missed late chances to seal the result before Niklas Suele conceded the penalty.

But Ulreich - playing against his former side - guessed correctly to deny Chadrac Akolo from the spot in the fifth minute of injury time.

Christian Clemens came on as a substitute and scored for Cologne to defeat Wolfsburg 1-0 for its first win of the season at the 17th attempt.

Though it was a deserved lead - Cologne was much the better side - goalkeeper Timo Horn made a number of saves to secure the win.

With three points from the previous 16 games, Cologne had made the worst start by any team since the league began in 1963.

After doubling its tally for the season, last-place Cologne is nine points behind Hamburger SV.

Christian Pulisic scored a brilliant late goal for Borussia Dortmund to come from behind and beat Hoffenheim 2-1. It was Dortmund's second win in as many games under new coach Peter Stoeger.

Stoeger's first game, a 2-0 win in Mainz on Tuesday, ended an eight-game winless streak. Dortmund looked like disappointing its fans once again until the 19-year-old Pulisic took the ball past Hoffenheim goalkeeper Oliver Baumann with his right boot and knocked it in with his left in the 89th minute.

Mark Uth punished Dortmund for lackluster finishing when he opened the scoring midway through the first half, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang equalized midway through the second from the penalty spot.

Hoffenheim missed several chances to win the game before Pulisic earned a morale-boosting victory that lifts Dortmund back up to third place.

Only Dortmund, Cologne and Bayern won as a flurry of late goals changed results across the league

Eintracht Frankfurt, Freiburg and Werder Bremen all squandered two-goal leads.

Naldo scored in the fifth minute of injury time for second-place Schalke to salvage a 2-2 draw at Frankfurt, Alfred Finnbogason scored twice in injury time as Augsburg drew 3-3 with Freiburg, and Fabian Frei scored in the third minute of stoppage time for Mainz to draw 2-2 in Bremen.

Updated December 16, 2017

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