German Bundesliga: Cologne held by Werder Bremen
Last Updated: 21/03/15 5:43pm
Cologne came from behind to draw 1-1 against Werder Bremen - their seventh home stalemate of the season.
A late Matthias Lehmann penalty earned the hosts a point after Davie Selke's 27th-minute goal had given Bremen the lead at the Mungersdorferstadion.
Victory would have taken Bremen to within two points of the top six, but they instead remain four adrift with their declared hopes of qualifying for Europe suffering a minor setback.
It was Bremen coach Viktor Skripnik who made that declaration on the eve of the game, saying his side would have a fighting chance for a place in the Europa League next season with a win, and his side looked confident early on.
They had at least three good chances to take the lead inside the opening 10 minutes before Selke's cross to Franco Di Santo was volleyed just over the crossbar.
Bremen finally got the goal their play deserved in the 27th minute when Zlatko Junuzovic's cross was helped on its way first by Cologne's Anthony Ujah and then Theodor Gebre Selassie, finishing at the feet of Selke whose shot left Timo Horn no chance thanks to a deflection off Jonas Hector.
Cologne improved towards the end of the first half, but Werder were worthy leaders at the interval.
Yuya Osako was sent on by Cologne coach Peter Stoger and he almost had an immediate impact on the game with a shot which went just wide of the post.
The Japanese forward went close again in the 68th minute with Skripnik responding by removing Selke and sending on a more defensive player in Levin Oztunali.
He almost earned his side a penalty in the 77th minute when he appeared to be caught inside the area by Kevin Wimmer, but the referee waved play on.
It was a let-off for the Goats, who took full advantage when they were given a penalty with just two minutes remaining.
Santiago Garcia unwittingly caught Bard Finne inside the penalty area and Lehmann lifted his spot-kick high into Raphael Wolf's goal to earn his side yet another point at home.