November 3, 2018 / 4:48 PM / 18 days ago

Freiburg stun champions Bayern with late equaliser

MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) - Freiburg shocked champions Bayern Munich with an 89th-minute equaliser from Lucas Hoeler to earn a deserved 1-1 draw in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

Soccer Football - Bundesliga - Bayern Munich v Freiburg - Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany - November 3, 2018 Freiburg's Lucas Holer scores their first goal REUTERS/Andreas Gebert

Bayern needed a solo effort from Serge Gnabry in the 80th minute to take the lead after another uninspiring performance by the Munich side.

The 23-year-old winger picked up the ball on the right and raced into the area before firing home from a tight angle for his first Bayern goal.

However, Hoeler slipped into the box to beat keeper Manuel Neuer and silence the home crowd to leave Bayern on 20 points, four behind leaders Borussia Dortmund, who they face next week.

“We started well and we let the ball roll well,” said Bayern coach Niko Kovac.

“Then we started looking to go through the centre because Freiburg were doubling up on the wings, but we struggled.

“We are frustrated and disappointed. We were leading so we should be winning.”

Kovac has had a rocky start to his Bayern term, with the club backing him after a dip in form early in the season.

After an angry press conference by club bosses last month, blaming media for unfair reporting and backing their coach and players, Bayern went on a four-game winning run in all competitions before Saturday’s draw but still failed to impress.

The hosts had just two chances in the first half through Robert Lewandowski and Arjen Robben despite possession of close to 70 percent and playing against a team missing several key players, including top striker Nils Petersen.

Freiburg grew bolder after the break and had the ball in the net only for Tim Kleindienst’s header to be ruled offside.

The introduction of Franck Ribery, playing his 400th competitive game for the club, on the hour breathed life into the Bayern attack and Gnabry’s goal put them ahead before Hoeler crowned a superb Freiburg performance with the equaliser.

Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; editing by Ken Ferris and Martyn Herman

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