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Austria fightback thwarts Bremen

FK Austria Wien 2-2 Werder Bremen
The Group L leaders seemed to be home and dry when Claudio Pizarro scored twice but that was counting without a late twist in the tale.

Schumacher celebrates his equalising goal in Vienna
Schumacher celebrates his equalising goal in Vienna ©Getty Images

A Claudio Pizarro double was not enough for Werder Bremen to win at FK Austria Wien in UEFA Europa League Group L, with late strikes from Emin Sulimani and Schumacher helping the hosts recover a 2-0 deficit.

Top versus bottom
The German Bundesliga club had seemed set to consolidate their top ranking in the section when Pizarro scored either side of half-time. Instead, FK Austria lifted themselves off the bottom thanks to two goals in the last 17 minutes in Vienna.

Pizarro breakthrough
While Werder enjoyed more possession in the opening stages, it was the home team who threatened first as playmaker Milenko Ačimovič just missed the target with a free-kick. Nevertheless, last season's UEFA Cup finalists took the lead after 19 minutes, Mesut Özil delivering a right-wing set-piece which Pizarro rose highest to nod in. If Thomas Schaaf's men sat on their advantage, Austria were driven forward by Ačimovič. One cross from the playmaker narrowly evaded Manuel Ortlechner, before Naldo came to the rescue after Ačimovič played in Joachim Standfest.

Open contest
Bremen had their own chances in an enjoyable game, first when Özil broke into the box only to put his effort wide. Then Aaron Hunt was thwarted by Robert Almer as he attempted to slip the ball through the goalkeeper's legs. The custodian would have been powerless to stop Per Mertesacker's header from an Özil corner, but the post kept Austria afloat.

Doubling up
Early in the second period, Austria's Zlatko Junuzović had a goal ruled out for offside as Karl Daxbacher's men applied the pressure. Their good work, however, appeared to be undone when Jacek Bąk's defensive error allowed Pizarro to register his second on 63 minutes. The Peruvian rounded Almer to slot into an empty net for his 12th goal in 13 competitive outings this term.

Late revival
Austria restored hope when Sulimani fired in a loose ball, leaving Werder No1 Tim Wiese powerless to intervene. Fourteen minutes later, the scores were level as Sulimani crossed high from the right towards the back post, where substitute Schumacher headed home from close range.