BERLIN (AP) — Max Kruse had always scored with a record 16 straight penalties in the Bundesliga.
After seeing his 17th attempt saved for the first time, Kruse immediately made up for it by scoring from the rebound as Union Berlin beat Cologne 2-1 Sunday to stay fifth.
Kruse had matched Hans-Joachim Abel’s 100% record after converting a 16th straight penalty kick in his previous game against Arminia Bielefeld. The former Germany striker had the chance to claim the record all for himself in the 72nd minute in Cologne.
But Cologne goalkeeper Timo Horn guessed correctly by diving to his left as Kruse finally failed to convert from the spot. Kruse did smash in the rebound to give Union its fourth win from eight games.
“We have 15 points and we haven’t lost in seven games. I think that’s what people should be writing about, and that’s why I didn’t put it in,” Kruse joked about his penalty.
Abel scored his penalties for Fortuna Düsseldorf, Bochum and Schalke between 1973 and 1984.
Cologne played in special jerseys to celebrate carnival despite no fans in the stadium due to coronavirus restrictions,
Union coach Urs Fischer was forced to make three changes to the team that beat Bielefeld 5-0 due to the injuries of Christian Gentner, Endo Keita, and Joel Pohjanpalo. Sebastian Griesbeck, Marcus Ingvartsen and Taiwo Awoniyi started in their place.
The 16-year-old defender Mathis Bruns, who usually plays for Union’s under-19 team, was named among the substitutes.
Awoniyi, on loan from Liverpool, capitalized on a defensive mix-up between Marius Wolf and Rafael Czichos to put the visitors ahead in the 27th minute.
Ellyes Skhiri headed in a free kick from former Hertha Berlin midfielder Ondrej Duda to equalize in the 36th.
Kruse got his chance to claim the Bundesliga penalty record outright after Salih Özcan brought Ingvartsen down in the area.
Cologne’s winless run stretched to 18 games including last season.
MAINZ FINALLY WINS
Jean-Philippe Mateta scored a hat trick to lead Mainz to its first Bundesliga win of the season with a 3-1 victory at Freiburg.
The French striker got the visitors off to a flying start in the second minute, grabbed his second goal in the 34th, and his third in the 40th, as Freiburg endured a first half to forget against what was the league’s bottom team.
Freiburg captain Nils Petersen pulled one back in the 63rd but Mainz held on for its first win under new coach Jan-Moritz Lichte at the sixth attempt.
Mainz’s win leaves Schalke bottom after the eighth round.