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Huszti scores two penalties as Hannover beats Leverkusen

Associated Press

12/9/2012 11:51:19 AM

FRANKFURT, Germany -- Szabolcs Huszti drew two penalties and converted both to lift Hannover to a 3-2 victory over Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga on Sunday.

The win ended Leverkusen's four-match winning run and put smiles on the faces of Bayern Munich, which ended the weekend with an 11-point lead in the standings. Borussia Dortmund, the two-time defending champion, is already 14 points behind in third.

Leverkusen could have stayed eight points behind Bayern, which won 2-0 in Augsburg on Sunday, and it went ahead in the second minute. Andre Schuerrle crossed, Lars Bender rolled the ball back to Gonzalo Castro, who found the target from close range.

Huszti was brought down by Manuel Friedrich and converted the first penalty in the 20th.

Hannover took the lead for the first time in the 57th, when Jan Schlaudraff sent a perfect cross toward Mame Diouf, who hit the target with a header.

But the lead lasted less than a minute. In the next possession, Leverkusen struck back. Bender sent an equally well-timed cross and Stefan Kiessling rose to fire a powerful header under the crossbar.

The winner came in the 69th. Huszti was brought down again, this time by Stefan Reinartz, and converted again to seal the victory.

"We are very disappointed. We started well and had a lot of ambition in this match," said Kiessling, who now has 10 goals. "But then we made mistakes."

Leverkusen's coach Sascha Lewandowski said his team controlled most of the match until the decisive penalty.

"They hardly had any chances but scored twice. But they have strikers who don't need much to score," Lewandowski said.

It was Hannover's first win since the club's coach Mirko Slomka got a contract extension until 2016 and lifted the team to 10th place.

"It's very tight in the middle of the standings and this win is important," Slomka said.

Borussia Moenchengladbach scored twice in quick succession in the second half to beat Mainz 2-0 in the early match Sunday and moved up to eighth place in the Bundesliga.

Substitute Mike Hanke opened the scoring in the 58th, hammering the ball into the roof of the net from a good cross by defender Tony Jantschke.

Five minutes later, Juan Arango struck a spectacular goal. Mainz goalkeeper Heinz Mueller raced far out of the penalty area to clear but the ball fell to Arango about 45 metres from the net, and the Venezuela midfielder hit a looping ball that dropped into the empty net.

Mainz slipped to 11th place in the standings.