Union Berlin back on top of Bundesliga with last-second win

BERLIN (AP) — Surprise leader Union Berlin keeps working miracles in the Bundesliga.

Danilho Doekhi headed in the winning goal with the last act of the game in the seventh minute of added time for a 2-1 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach on Sunday which returns Union to top spot.

Union was heading for defeat until the 79th minute when substitute Kevin Behrens headed an equalizer to Nico Elvedi’s first-half goal for Gladbach. Right at the end, Doekhi surged through a crowd of players to head in Jamie Leweling’s cross from a corner routine, sparking wild celebrations from Union’s players and fans.

Union goes back to being one point ahead of Bayern Munich, which routed Mainz 6-2 on Saturday, with three games until the Bundesliga pauses for the World Cup.

Midfielder Rani Khedira said it showed “the character in this squad” that Union can keep up its form despite a packed schedule in the Bundesliga and Europa League. Khedira paid tribute to the “crazy fans” packing Union’s terraces for driving the team to victory.

Union had earlier celebrated what it thought was the winning goal in the 87th before video review found Christopher Trimmel was narrowly offside. It was the second time VAR went against Union after ruling Khedira’s shot in the first half had deflected in off teammate Sheraldo Becker’s elbow.

After Elvedi’s 33rd-minute header gave Gladbach the lead at a corner, substitute Behrens responded in the 79th by beating goalkeeper Tobias Sippel to score, though he was struck by Sippel’s fist in the process as the ‘keeper tried to punch the ball away. Behrens collapsed to the ground before recovering to celebrate with teammates. He was able to play on and nearly scored again three minutes later, and finished the game with a bruise and swelling on his right cheekbone.

The dramatic win was a boost for Union, which had been four points ahead of Bayern until a loss to relegation-threatened Bochum last week. Gladbach is 11th.

GRIFO LIFTS FREIBURG

Freiburg rose above Borussia Dortmund to third with a 2-0 win over last-place Schalke, whose new coach Thomas Reis lost his first game in charge.

Vincenzo Grifo was given space to score with a curling shot from the edge of the box in first-half stoppage time, then extended Freiburg’s lead from the penalty spot after Jeong Woo-yeong was tripped. Schalke is on a run of seven straight losses under Reis, his predecessor Frank Kramer and former interim coach Matthias Kreutzer.

Hoffenheim held on for a 1-1 draw with Cologne after defender Ozan Kabak was sent off in the 87th for a second booking. Florian Kainz opened the scoring for Cologne from close range off Linton Maina’s cross before Jacob Bruun Larsen leveled for Hoffenheim.

Cologne had little rest after having to complete its Europa Conference League win over Slovácko on Friday afternoon. Fog meant the game was abandoned after six minutes Thursday evening. Hoffenheim is seventh in the Bundesliga and Cologne 10th.

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