Bundesliga

Stuttgart, Nurnberg split points

Alexandru Maxim (L) of Stuttgart fights for the ball with Marvin Plattenhardt
Stuttgart Alexandru Maxim (L) fights for the ball with Nurnberg's Marvin Plattenhardt (R).
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BERLIN (AP)

Nurnberg drew 1-1 at Stuttgart on Friday in Gertjan Verbeek's first game in charge of the relegation-threatened Bundesliga team.

The Dutchman's tenure got off to a poor start when referee Guido Winkmann awarded a penalty within two minutes for Niklas Stark's clumsy challenge on Alexandru Maxim.

Stuttgart's Vedad Ibisevic rifled the spot kick into the top left corner for the Bosnian's league-leading seventh goal of the season.

But then U.S. defender Timmy Chandler set up Josip Drmic to equalize with a cool finish beyond goalkeeper Sven Ulreich in off the far post three minutes later.

''It was a bad start but then we scored a nice goal and we had our chances. I'm satisfied with the 1-1,'' said Verbeek, who was appointed Tuesday in place of the sacked Michael Wiesinger.

Stuttgart striker Martin Harnik had two great chances and Ibrahima Traore hit the post in the first half for the home side, while Daniel Ginczek came closest for the visitors in the second half.

Maxim had a golden chance to win it in injury time only for Nuremberg defender Emanuel Pogatetz to make a crucial clearance.

''The result's not too bad, but the football needs to improve,'' said Verbeek, whose side remains in the relegation play-off spot ahead of the rest of the weekend's games.

Nuremberg defender Per Nilsson lamented the side's seventh draw from 10 games.

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''Unfortunately they've been part of our season up to now,'' the Swede said. ''We were just missing that little bit of luck. But the result is OK, I guess.''

Nuremberg will take confidence from the fact Stuttgart coach Thomas Schneider is unbeaten since he took over from Bruno Labbadia, who was fired after three league games.

''When a new coach comes along there's new fire in the team, everyone wants to make a good impression,'' Ulreich said. ''We knew it would be difficult tonight.''

Stuttgart missed the chance to go provisionally fourth.

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