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August 11, 2009

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Bochum battles back for a tie

BOCHUM rallied from a three-goal deficit at halftime to earn a 3-3 draw against Borussia Moenchengladbach in a wild first-round game in the Bundesliga on Sunday.

Mimoun Azaouagh scored twice inside a minute to turn the game around in the second half. Borussia finished the match with 10 men and came close to losing the game after dominating the first half. The two teams barely escaped relegation last season.

"I've rarely seen a game like this, it was very curious," Borussia coach Michael Frontzek said. "We played a great first half, Azaouagh then scores two great goals, we get the red card and at the end we were lucky to get away with a draw.

"There are things in football you can't explain," Frontzek added.

In the second game on Sunday, Hamburger SV squandered an early lead and had to settle for a 1-1 draw at promoted Freiburg.

Jonathan Pitroipa put Hamburg ahead after three minutes when the Freiburg defense failed to clear a corner. Tommy Bechmann then salvaged a draw for Freiburg after Mohamadou Idrissou had won the ball from David Rozehnal.

Newly signed Venezuelan Juan Arango scored his first Bundesliga goal in the 19th minute in Bochum, after collecting a pass from Roberto Colautti. Colautti added the second himself with a header in the 25 and Borussia appeared to be on the way to a rout when Arango crossed for Roel Brouwers to head in the third.

But Bochum were a different team after the break.

Azaouagh missed a great chance for Bochum at the start of the second half, then scored two virtually identical goals inside a minute.

He rifled a shot with his right foot from the edge of the area in the 51st, then found the same upper left corner from a similar distance of around 20 meters about 50 seconds later.

Bochum weren't finished and Borussia fell apart under pressure.

Defender Dante was sent off in the 60th for pulling down Stanislav Sestak in what turned out to be a costly way of stopping a Bochum counterattack.

Bochum didn't need much time to take advantage and Sestak scored a header inside the far post in the 63rd to tie the game.

The frantic pace dropped somewhat after that goal, although Shinji Ono could have clinched the game for Bochum. The Japanese shot high, however, shortly after coming on as a substitute.

Ten-man Borussia outplayed tiring Bochum late in the game but Arango's effort was tipped over the net by Bochum's goalkeeper Philipp Heerwagen. Joel Epalle had the last chance of the match but his low header went wide of Borussia's goal.

"Nothing worked for us in the first half but we stepped up the pressure in the second half," Bochum coach Marcel Koller said. "During the break I just asked my players to play the way they can and they did."

On Saturday, Hoffeheim held Bayern Munich to a 1-1 draw and Schalke won 2-1 at promoted Nuremberg.


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