BREMEN, Germany (AP) — Niclas Füllkrug went atop the Bundesliga’s scoring chart by heading in a late winner to give Werder Bremen a 1-0 victory over Hertha Berlin on Friday and propel his promoted team into the top half of the table.
Füllkrug timed his leap perfectly in the crowded Hertha box in the 85th minute to meet Anthony Jung's cross from deep with a header from near the penalty spot. It was Füllkrug's ninth Bundesliga goal of the season, putting him one ahead of Leipzig's Christopher Nkunku and Borussia Mönchengladbach's Marcus Thuram.
The 29-year-old Füllkrug was in the second division with Bremen last season but his scoring form this campaign has put him in contention for a surprise place in Germany's squad for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar.
Both teams struggled to create good scoring opportunities in a game which looked to be heading for a scoreless draw before Füllkrug's late breakthrough. Marco Richter hit the side netting for Hertha in the second minute, and Werder had chances to score from some dangerous crosses soon after. Dodi Lukebakio narrowly missed the target with a powerful low shot early in the second half.
Bremen rose to sixth ahead of the weekend's other games and ended a three-game losing streak in the league and cup. Hertha is 13th in the 18-team league with only two wins from 12 games.
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The Associated Press