BERLIN (Reuters) - An 85th-minute equaliser by Naldo gave VfL Wolfsburg a 2-2 draw at Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday, maintaining their hold on second place and leaving the hosts in the Bundesliga relegation zone.
Brazilian Naldo drilled in a powerful header after he was left completely unmarked in the box with last season’s runners-up Dortmund having gone back into the lead with a 76th-minute goal from Ciro Immobile.
The Italian striker, under mounting criticism as Dortmund made their worst start in decades, set up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the eighth minute for the lead with the Gabon international sliding in to connect with the cross.
Wolfsburg equalised with Kevin De Bruyne’s clever free kick in the 29th and looked in complete control with Vieirinha being denied at point-blank range by keeper Mitch Langerak, who has been given the nod ahead of first choice Roman Weidenfeller in recent weeks.
Dortmund hustled possession back and Immobile came close three times before rifling in from the edge of the box but they failed to hold on to their renewed lead as Naldo grabbed his fourth goal of the season.
Wolfsburg are on 31 points, 11 behind leaders Bayern Munich, who eased past Freiburg 2-0 on Tuesday.
Dortmund are in 16th place on 15 but coach Juergen Klopp heaped praise on the Italian striker.
“It has been a long time that I have seen a striker play like Ciro did today,” said Klopp, whose team faces Juventus in the Champions League round of 16.
“Our performance was good in many ways and this is something we can build on.”
Borussia Moenchengladbach climbed back up to third on 27, four points behind Wolfsburg, with a convincing 4-1 win over struggling Werder Bremen, who were left with 10 players midway through the second half following Luca Caldirola’s second booking.
Bayer Leverkusen striker Stefan Kiessling scored on his return to Hoffenheim for the first time since last year’s ‘phantom goal’ game for a 1-0 win that lifted them level with third-placed Gladbach on 27.
Kiessling ended his goal drought, ironically in the stadium where last season he scored an infamous goal that should never have counted when his header slipped in through a hole in the side netting and the striker was vilified by fans in Germany for not telling the referee.
The goal contributed to the top division clubs agreeing on introducing goalline technology from next season.
Eintracht Frankfurt staged a memorable comeback with two late goals in two minutes from Bundesliga top scorer Alex Meier to draw 4-4 against Hertha Berlin.
Hertha had led 3-0 and 4-2 before Meier’s late double strike earned them a point and took his league tally to 12.
Schalke 04 also got the three points with a 2-1 victory over Paderborn to move into fifth place on 26 courtesy of Roman Neustaedter’s 78th minute winner.
Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Ed Osmond