Berlin, Dec 11: Last-placed Cologne squandered a three-goal advantage and lost 4-3 to Freiburg to complete the 15th round of Bundesliga action.
Nils Petersen’s hat-trick helped Freiburg to bounce back from three goals down to hijack all three points from Cologne, who suffered their 12th defeat in the 15th game on Sunday, reports Xinhua news agency.
The hosts ensured a fairy-tale start on home soil as Lukas Kluenter fired the ball past Freiburg goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow, following a through ball from Milos Jojic in the eighth minute.
Sehrou Guirassy doubled the lead eight minutes later after the opener, after he beat custodian Schwolow from the penalty spot.
Things went from bad to worse for Freiburg as substitute Caleb Stanko poked a clearance into the wrong goal to triple the lead for Cologne with 29 minutes played.
Up until then it had gone like clockwork for the hosts, who were in hunt for their first win of the season, but things changed as the match progressed. Freiburg showed their first vital sign when Nils Petersen reduced the arrears in the 39th minute.
Freiburg’s keeper Scholow kept his men in the contest as he defused a promising effort from Guirassy after the restart.
However, Cologne retracted with the lead behind them and focused on fast breaks, whereas Freiburg pressed for another goal. The visitor’s efforts paid off eventually in the 65th minute when Janik Haberer headed home a corner to make it 3-2.
It was a dramatic closing period for the hosts, as Freiburg completed their 4-3 comeback victory with two converted penalties from Petersen, who wrapped up his hat-trick from the spot.
With the result, Cologne remain last place in the standings with 12 points to safety while Freiburg stay on the 16th position, which is a relegation play-off spot.
Elsewhere, newly promoted Hannover ended their four-game winless run after moving 2-0 past Hoffenheim on second-half goals from Niclas Fuellkrug and Martin Harnik.
And Salomon Kalou’s late equaliser secured Hertha Berlin a point at Augsburg, denying the Fuggerstaedter a place in the top four.