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HomesportNapoli stumble to 1-1 draw as eliminated Union snap losing run

Napoli stumble to 1-1 draw as eliminated Union snap losing run

NAPLES, Italy :Union Berlin’s David Fofana scored a second-half equaliser against the run of play to snatch a 1-1 Champions League draw at Napoli on Wednesday and snap a 12-game losing run, but it was not enough to keep the German side’s knockout hopes alive.

Matteo Politano gave the Italians a deserved 39th-minute lead following a one-sided first half before Fofana levelled on the break seven minutes after the restart with the Germans’ first big chance from open play.

The draw left Napoli in second place in Group C on seven points, two behind leaders Real Madrid who face Braga, on three points, later on Wednesday.

“It’s the game we had prepared,” said man-of-the-match Politano. “We just shouldn’t have conceded that equaliser.”

“We should have won, we had chances and the performance was good. We must carry on like this and go into the next two games with the same spirit.”

Union, who had lost their last 12 in all competitions including all their previous group matches in their maiden Champions League appearance, are bottom on one point.

They can no longer reach the knockout stage but can still finish third and qualify for the Europa League.

“This feels really good,” said Union captain Christopher Trimmel. “The longer a losing run lasts the more your confidence evaporates. We had been feeling that.”

“This performance can hopefully give us some energy for the coming weeks but I know football well and I know we have to keep working hard.”

The Germans were on the back foot from the start and keeper Frederik Ronnow pulled off a good save to stop a Piotr Zielinski shot in the 17th minute.

The hosts went even closer in the 25th when Natan’s header hit the woodwork and then thought their dominance had finally paid off when Andre Frank Zambo Anguissa’s header found the net.

His effort, however, was disallowed for an earlier foul following a lengthy VAR review, with Napoli having 70 per cent possession in the first half.

They did break the deadlock before halftime when a deflected shot bounced off Politano’s chest and into the goal.

Union hit the post through Josip Juranovic’s free kick in first-half stoppage time and then caught Napoli napping seven minutes after the restart with a quick break as Fofana slotted in on the rebound to stun the home crowd.

Napoli had 18 corners to the Germans’ five but despite late pressure and a string of chances they failed to score again.

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