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Stuttgart beats Eintracht Frankfurt in Bundesliga

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Associated Press
3/17/2013 1:27:58 PM
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FRANKFURT, Germany -- Stuttgart came from behind to beat Eintracht in Frankfurt 2-1 on Sunday and distance itself from the relegation zone in the Bundesliga.

Eintracht ended its five-match scoreless run but could not protect the lead and conceded two goals in a toughly contested, foul-filled second half.

In the late match, Luuk de Jong used a clever pass from Patrick Herrmann to score in the 36th minute and give Borussia Moenchengladbach a 1-0 victory over Hannover, which finished with 10 men after the dismissal of Sergio da Silva Pinto for dissent.

Stuttgart had won only one of its 10 previous matches and appeared to be on its way to another loss when Stefan Aigner scored for Frankfurt in the 17th minute.

But Vedad Ibisevic levelled with a penalty in the 48th and Georg Niedermeier secured Stuttgart's victory with a header at the far post from a corner.

"This was an incredibly important victory for us," Stuttgart's coach Bruno Labbadia said. "Great compliments to my players."

Eintracht had calls for a late penalty denied. Stuttgart moved up to 12th while Eintracht moved past Schalke into fourth despite the loss. Schalke lost 3-0 in Nuremberg on Saturday and now has a worse goal difference than Eintracht. Fourth place means a slot in qualifying for the Champions League. Moenchengladbach is now seventh, but only point behind Eintracht.

"We should have earned more today," Eintracht captain Pirmin Schwegler said.

Schwegler created Eintracht's goal with a perfectly timed through ball. Aigner raced into space and beat Stuttgart's goalkeeper Sven Ulreich with a shot indie the far post with the outside of his boot.

Eintracht missed a couple of chances before Stuttgart replied after the break.

Arthur Boka was awarded a penalty when he was clipped by Schwegler and Ibisevic converted from the spot for his 12th goal of the season.

Niedermeier scored the winner after connecting with a corner from Alexandru Maxim with a powerful header and Stuttgart is now eight points away from the danger zone.

Srdjan Lakic fell in a challenge by Ulreich late in the match but the referee ignored Eintracht's calls for a penalty.

Eintracht is still one point behind its proclaimed pre-season target of 40. Coach Armin Veh's contract expires after the season and he has said he would not discuss his future until Eintracht reached 40 points. Persistent media speculation has linked Veh with a move to Schalke, but he has dismissed the reports.

After the match, Veh said he will sit down with Eintracht's officials in the next few days and make a decision. He denied reports that he had already signed a contract with Schalke.

"I would never do that. We haven't reached 40 points yet but we have to clear up this situation, we can't wait much longer," said Veh, who has urged Eintracht's tight-fisted management to spend on new players as a condition for him to stay.

Veh coached Stuttgart to the 2007 Bundesliga championship. Schalke's sporting director is Horst Heldt, a former Stuttgart player who ended his career and moved into management there while Veh was the coach.

On Saturday, Bayern Munich scored late to earn a 2-1 win in Leverkusen and stayed 20 points ahead of Borussia Dortmund, which beat Freiburg 5-1. Leverkusen is four points behind Dortmund and six points ahead of Eintracht.

Vedad Ibisevic (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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