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Gladbach title push frustrated in Frankfurt stalemate

Zakaria equalised but Gladbach had to settle for a point in Frankfurt
Zakaria equalised but Gladbach had to settle for a point in Frankfurt AFP

Berlin (AFP)

Borussia Moenchengladbach were frustrated in their attempt to force their way further into the Bundesliga title race on Sunday when they were held to a 1-1 draw at Eintracht Frankfurt.

The draw left third-placed Gladbach on 43 points, five behind champions Bayern Munich and seven off leaders Borussia Dortmund who travel to Nuremberg on Monday.

The visitors dominated the match but were unable to convert their consistent pressure into goals, with midfielder Thorgan Hazard enduring a frustrating day in front of goal.

They were made to pay for their wastefulness when Frankfurt, also chasing European football next season, went in at the break with a 1-0 lead.

Frankfurt launched a counter in injury time, catching Gladbach off guard from a corner.

After receiving the ball on the edge of the box, Jonathan de Guzman miscued a shot on goal.

The ball, however, was collected by Danny da Costa who hammered home from close range.

The second half looked much like the first, with Gladbach pressing and Hazard spurning chance after chance.

But they finally broke through in the 82nd minute, with Denis Zakaria latching on to a 30-metre Tobias Strobl pass to score past the outstretched hands of Frankfurt keeper Kevin Trapp.

Frankfurt, who looked clearly fatigued after a mid-week trip to Ukraine in the Europa League, were fortunate to hold on and grab a valuable point in the closing stages.

Bayer Leverkusen's strong form under new coach Peter Bosz continued with a 2-0 win over Fortuna Dusseldorf at the BayArena to move into fifth place.

Kai Havertz scored Bayer's first goal in the 18th minute with the 19-year-old creating and finishing for his ninth goal of the season.

Taking possession in Fortuna's half, Havertz broke free of the Duesseldorf defence before passing to Kevin Volland on the flank.

Volland's cross found Havertz unmarked just two metres from goal, with the young star tapping home from close range. The goal was Havertz's fifth in his last six games.

In the 67th minute, another of Leverkusen's youth brigade -? 21-year-old Jamaican Leon Bailey ?- was on the spot to poach a deflection after Bayer's Mitchell Weiser shot directly at Fortuna keeper Jaroslav Drobny.

Leverkusen's two goals raised their tally to 13 from their last four games, including a 3-1 defeat of Bayern Munich.

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