Bayern wins 1-0 to maintain Bundesliga march
BERLIN (AP) — Germany striker Mario Gomez took advantage of a rare start to give Bundesliga leader Bayern Munich a hard-fought 1-0 win at relegation candidate Hoffenheim on Sunday.
Bayern winger Frank Ribery headed on Javi Martinez's header for Gomez to flick past goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes with his second touch in the 38th minute.
Bayern maintained its 17-point lead over defending champion Borussia Dortmund after equaling the Bundesliga record for 11 away wins in a season with the side's 20th from 24 games overall.
Bayern's 63 points is a Bundesliga record at this stage of the season, while its 583 minutes without conceding a goal is also a Bundesliga record.
"It was a very difficult game, a hard-fought win," said Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes. "It wasn't brilliant or pretty."
Munich-born Daniel Williams created Hoffenheim's best chances in the first half, with the U.S. international hitting the side-netting, firing wide and drawing a good save from former teammate Tom Starke.
But the home side ran out of steam in the second half, when Bayern midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger hit the crossbar and then the post from successive free kicks.
Fortuna Duesseldorf drew 1-1 with Mainz in Sunday's late game.
The home side took the lead through Mainz defender Bo Svensson's own goal in the eighth minute, but Ivan Klasnic equalized in the 41st with a point blank header after Fabian Giefer had been unable to hold onto Marco Caligiuri's cross.
"A top-quality first division game," said Mainz coach Thomas Tuchel with heavy sarcasm.
Heynckes rewarded reserve goalkeeper Starke by picking him instead of Germany 'keeper Manuel Neuer to face his former side. Starke, a fan favorite at Hoffenheim, was welcomed with banners thanking him for his two seasons at the club.