Germany: Bayern held by strugglers Cologne

April 1, 2006

FRANKFURT, April 1 (Reuters) - Bayern Munich had to come from behind twice to earn a 2-2 draw at home to bottom club Cologne on Saturday, a result that gives a glimmer of hope to the chasing pack in the Bundesliga.

Markus Feulner gave Cologne the lead before Willy Sagnol blasted in the first equaliser. Bayern fell behind again to a long-range strike from Albert Streit but Roy Makaay spared their blushes with the second equaliser six minutes before the break.

With six games left to play, Bayern remain on course for a 20th German title with 66 points and a 10-point lead over Werder Bremen, who edged into second as a Miroslav Klose penalty proved enough to give them a 1-0 win away to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Third-placed Hamburg SV have a game in hand, however, and will move to within seven points of the leaders if they win Sunday's tricky away game against Schalke, who are fourth on 52 points.

Next weekend Bayern are away to Werder Bremen in a match that could reopen the title race.

Cologne striker Lukas Podolski must have improved his chances of a move to Bayern at the end of the season as he worried the home the home defence throughout.

The 20-year-old Germany international broke clear on the left in the 12th minute to set up a curious opener with a cross that picked out Matthias Scherz.

Scherz's shot was heading in but Feulner, standing on the line and blatantly offside, chose to make sure.

Bayern could consider themselves unlucky that the goal stood but they received a let-off two minutes later when Podolski burst clear again.

This time his cross picked out Feulner unmarked in the centre and only a fortunate clearance from Philipp Lahmn's back spared Bayern.

That scare bucked up the home side's ideas and they equalised for the first time in the 29th minute, Paolo Guerrero breaking into space and crossing for Sagnol to rifle in his shot from well outside the area.

Guerrero should have put Bayern ahead in the 35th minute but his weak shot gave Lukas Sinkiewicz a simple clearance and Cologne took advantage to move ahead for the second time out of nowhere.

Streit tried his luck from 25 metres and looked as surprised as anyone when the ball deceived Oliver Kahn in the air and wafted in.

Bayern were quickly back level again, Makaay controlling a long ball over the top from Michael Ballack and smashing into the roof of the net.

The second half was less fraught and Cologne failed to trouble Bayern's stand-in goalkeeper Michael Rensing after he had replaced the injured Kahn at the interval.

Podolski, through on goal just after the break, saw the ball bobble away from him and shortly afterwards Makaay flashed a shot just wide in the best two chances of the half.