Wolfsburg beats Augsburg 3-2, climbs 5th in Bundesliga

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              Wolfsburg's Yannick Gerhardt, center, and Augsburg's Ja-Cheol Koo, left, challenge for the ball during the German Bundeliga soccer match between FC Augsburg and VfL Wolfsburg in Augsburg, Germany, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. (Tobias Hase/dpa via AP)
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BERLIN (AP) — Yannick Gerhardt scored late to clinch a 3-2 win for Wolfsburg at Augsburg in the Bundesliga on Sunday.

Gerhardt’s 89th-minute winner lifted Wolfsburg to fifth place, three points behind Leipzig in the last Champions League spot and one point ahead of Eintracht Frankfurt, before the league’s winter break.

Augsburg made the better start but Wolfsburg gradually gained control and Josuha Guilavogui scored after the visitors’ second corner. American defender John Anthony Brooks headed the ball on and the French midfielder prodded it home from close range.

Brazilian defender William scored before the break after Augsburg missed several chances to clear.

Rani Khedira – the younger brother of Germany midfielder Sami – dragged Augsburg back into the game when he scored minutes after the restart and Sergio Cordova equalized around the hour mark.

But Gerhardt’s late strike proved too much for the home side.

“You can see that we’re perhaps still a bit too naive,” Augsburg coach Manuel Baum said.

Hoffenheim drew 1-1 with visiting Mainz in Sunday’s late game, with Vincenzo Grifo hitting the post in injury time for the home team.

“We’re not 100 percent satisfied today,” Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann said.

Mainz striker Jean-Philippe Mateta equalized five minutes after Kerem Demirbay’s 11th-minute goal for Hoffenheim.

At the halfway stage of the season, Borussia Dortmund has a six-point lead over defending champion Bayern Munich.

Bayern took advantage of Dortmund’s defeat of Borussia Moenchengladbach on Friday to move second with a win over Eintracht Frankfurt a day later. Gladbach and Bayern had been separated by goal difference.