The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Last gasp Mainz equalizer denies Paderborn winning start in Bundesliga, 'Gladbach earns draw
BERLIN - Mainz earned a 2-2 draw at promoted Paderborn with an injury time penalty to deny the home side a victory in its first Bundesliga game on Sunday.
Koo Ja-cheol converted the spot kick in the 94th minute after Uwe Huenemeier brought down Shinji Okazaki in the area.
Okazaki opened the scoring in the 34th minute, when he was quickest to the rebound after Johannes Geis' free kick struck the left post.
Elias Kachunga equalized with his — and Paderborn's — first Bundesliga goal three minutes later, seizing upon a wayward back pass from Geis and firing past Mainz goalkeeper Loris Karius.
Huenemeier thought he'd secured the home side a famous win when he headed past Karius in the 87th, only for Paderborn to concede the penalty minutes later.
"We were too nervous in the second half but we showed good morale in the last minutes. That was very important to us," said Mainz coach Kasper Hjulmand, whose side also hit the crossbar in a frenetic finale.
The Danish coach was appointed to succeed Thomas Tuchel, who stepped down after five seasons in charge, but is already under pressure after crashing out in the first round of the German Cup and failing to secure qualification for the Europa League.
Hjulmand's counterpart, Andre Breitenreiter, was under no such pressure after leading Paderborn to top flight football in his first season in charge.
"We had chances to keep the ball better in the closing stages. It's bitter how we were punished," Breitenreiter said. "It says it all that we're disappointed that we didn't win. We'd have deserved a victory."
Christoph Kramer's last minute equalizer secured Borussia Moenchengladbach a 1-1 draw with visiting Stuttgart in the late game.
Alexandru Maxim put the visitors ahead in the 51st, beating 'Gladbach 'keeper Yann Sommer from a narrow angle after Christian Gentner sprung the offside trap.
Branimir Hrgota, who had missed the best chance of the game three minutes before Stuttgart scored, thought he'd equalized in the 67th, only for his effort to be ruled out for offside.
Moenchengladbach substitute Thorben Hazard — younger brother of Belgium star Eden — hit the post with over 15 minutes remaining, before World Cup winner Kramer struck his well-placed shot through a host of Stuttgart players inside the far post.
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