Leverkusen brings on 16-year-olds to earn 1-1 draw at Hertha

·2 min read

BERLIN (AP) — Bayer Leverkusen brought on two 16-year-olds and came from behind with a last-minute goal from Robert Andrich to snatch a 1-1 draw at Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga on Sunday.

Spanish forward Iker Bravo became the second-youngest player to appear in the Bundesliga — after Borussia Dortmund’s Youssoufa Moukoko — when he came on in the 79th, only to become the third-youngest when Danish midfielder Zidan Sertdemir came on in the 86th. Sertdemir is 16 years and 276 days old, 22 days younger than Bravo. Moukoko was 16 and a day when he made his league debut.

Hertha looked set to claim its fifth league win of the season, but the home team's players slumped on the field after Andrich’s last-gasp equalizer. The Leverkusen midfielder chipped over the goalkeeper after Hertha failed to clear a free kick and wasted several good counterattacking opportunities.

Andrich previously played for Hertha’s city rival Union Berlin and was sent off on his previous appearance at Olympiastadion in the derby.

Leverkusen’s winless streak in the league stretched to four games since the 5-1 loss at home to Bayern Munich on Oct. 17, but Gerardo Seoane’s side is hard-hit by injuries. Florian Wirtz was the latest to drop out after Thursday’s 4-0 win over Real Betis in the Europa League.

Leverkusen 'keeper Lukas Hradecky did well to stop Suat Serdar in the 24th, before Andrich had a goal ruled out at the other end because Amine Adli had taken the ball out of play.

Neither side threatened much thereafter until Steven Jovetic drilled a shot inside the top left corner three minutes before the break for Hertha. The Montenegro forward did well to control the ball with his right foot before scoring on the turn with his left.

Hertha’s Alexander Schwolow was the busier goalkeeper after the break, twice denying Karem Demirbay.

Schwolow couldn’t do anything to improve his own forwards’ ability to make more of several promising counterattacks at the other end, however, and Hertha was to rue the missed chances when Andrich scored.

UNION'S REGRET

Union also conceded late to let a potential win slip away as Anthony Modeste scored twice to earn a 2-2 draw for hosts Cologne.

Julian Ryerson and Grischa Prömel's first-half goals — after Modeste's early goal — had put Union on course for its fifth win in five Bundesliga games altogether against Cologne.

Union could have moved fourth – the last qualification place for the Champions League – but Modeste struck again in the 86th to leave another capital club disappointed.

Last-place Greuther Fürth hosted Eintracht Frankfurt later.

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Ciarán Fahey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cfaheyAP

Ciarán Fahey, The Associated Press

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