Berlin (AFP) – Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Robert Andrich scored a 90th minute equaliser to snatch his team a 1-1 draw at Hertha Berlin and avoid a third defeat in four Bundesliga games on Sunday.
Former Hertha academy graduate Robert Andrich struck late against his old club to cancel out a brilliant first-half strike from Stevan Jovetic and and spare his side’s blushes in a cagey game in the capital.
Having briefly drawn level on points with league leaders Bayern Munich in October, Leverkusen have now dropped to sixth after four games in a row without a win.
“This result will be good for our morale. We know that results haven’t been good lately, but our young team fought really hard today,” Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky told broadcaster Dazn.
With key attacking players such as Florian Wirtz and Patrik Schick ruled out injured, the visitors struggled to break down a well-drilled Hertha defence on a chilly afternoon in Berlin.
Andrich had the ball in the net for Leverkusen on the half hour mark, but the goal was ruled out after replays showed the ball had gone out of play in the build-up.
The home side broke the deadlock with a fine goal just before half-time, Jovetic smashing in his second goal for Hertha since joining the club at the beginning of the season.
Having received the ball with his back to goal, the veteran forward swivelled and smashed it into the top corner.
Leverkusen struggled to create clear chances in the second half, before Andrich squeezed the equaliser over the line from close range after a poorly defended free-kick.
Hertha’s city rivals Union Berlin also conceded a late equaliser later on Sunday, as two goals from French striker Anthony Modeste saw them held to a 2-2 draw away to Cologne.
Cologne took the lead after just seven minutes when Florian Kainz smashed a long-range effort against the bar and Modeste bundled in the rebound.
Union bounced back just two minutes later, right-back Julian Ryerson fizzing a low shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the area to score his second goal in two games.
Both Modeste and Ondrej Duda had chances to restore the lead before Grischa Proemel pounced on a defensive error at the other end to put the visitors in front.
Victory would have put Union in the top four going into the international break, but Modeste struck again with a late header to level the scores and spare Cologne a first home defeat of the season.