2016/2017 German Bundesliga
  • Leonardo Bittencourt (58')
  • Kerem Demirbay (90'+3')

Demirbay equaliser secures European football for Hoffenheim

Leonardo Bittencourt celebrates after scoring a goal for Cologne in a 1-1 draw against Hoffenheim. Cologne celeb vs Hoffenheim 170421

Kerem Demirbay struck in stoppage time as Hoffenheim secured European football with a 1-1 draw at Cologne.

Demirbay equalised in the third minute of added time, cancelling out Leonardo Bittencourt's second-half opener, to seal Europa League qualification at the very least for his side.

But it is the Champions League Julian Nagelsmann's men are targeting and the draw leaves them four points away from clinching a top-four finish in the Bundesliga -- though their goal difference means one win in their next four games should do it.

Cologne, themselves chasing qualification to a major European competition for the first time since the 1992-93 UEFA Cup, took the lead through former Borussia Dortmund midfielder Bittencourt.

The 23-year-old was on hand at the back post to tap in Jonas Hector's ball across goal in the 58th minute.

The hosts pushed for a second and Yuya Osako was denied by goalkeeper Oliver Baumann before skipper Matthias Lehmann fired the rebound wide.

But Cologne could not kill the game off and were punished in added time. The hosts failed to clear a free kick from the area and Demirbay ran on to a loose ball near the edge of the box and slotted into the bottom left corner of the goal.

The point moves Cologne above Freiburg into sixth, which is currently the final Europa League qualification spot.

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