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Germany-reject Kiessling keeps Leverkusen top

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 29 Aug 2009

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Germany-reject Steffan Kiessling hit the second-half winner to keep Bayer Leverkusen top of the Bundesliga on Saturday with a 2-1 win over Bochum.

Germany coach Joachim Loew found no place for Kiessling among his forwards for next Saturday’s friendly against South Africa or the World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan on September 9, but the Lerkusen star responded in style.

His 68th-minute strike was enough to give Leverkusen the three points which gives them a three-point league lead over second-placed Hamburg, who play Cologne on Sunday when Hertha Berlin also host Werder Bremen.

With defending champions Wolfsburg the guests at Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena on Saturday night, Leverkusen built on last weekend’s 5-0 win over Freiburg with a win over Bochum as Manuel Friedrich scored for both teams.

Leverkusen’s Ex-Germany defender Friedrich put Bochum ahead when he won the sprint against Cameroon midfielder Joel Epalle, but stabbed the ball into his own net on 32 minutes.

To repair the damage, he scored with a header on 41 minutes before Bayer took the lead before Kiessling’s second-half winner.

Leverkusen’s teenage midfielder Tony Kroos found himself free on the right side of the penalty area and passed across for Kiessling to fire home from six metres out.

Schalke 04 went down without a fight as they were shocked 1-0 at home to minnows Freiburg.

Having hit the bar midway through the first half, Freiburg took the lead when South Korean defender Du-Ri Cha scored in the 40th minute with a right-footed strike.

German magazine Kicker’s website has reported Schalke’s Brazilian defender Rafinha is being lined up by Bayern Munich for a last-minute switch to Bavaria before the transfer window closes on August 31 and the news seemed to have affected lifeless Schalke.

Both substitute Halil Altintop and striker Kevin Kuranyi hit the post for Schalke, but coach Felix Magath’s expression was aubergine-dark at the final whistle.

Nuremberg, who along with Cologne and Bayern Munich are the only teams in the league who are still winless, held Stuttgart to a 0-0 draw while Dortmund drew 1-1 with Frankfurt.

On Friday night, Mainz, who took Bayern’s scalp with a 2-1 victory last Saturday, were brought down to earth when they slumped to a 2-0 defeat at Borussia Moenchengladbach.

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