VfB Stuttgart fought back from 3-1 down to claim a 3-3 draw in a pulsating encounter at the Audi Sportpark.
FC Ingolstadt 04 3-3 VfB Stuttgart
The visitors went into the game knowing a win would lift them - temporarily at least - into the top half of the table for the first time this season. Jürgen Kramny’s side made the worst possible start at the Audi Sportpark, though, as Moritz Hartmann rifled a fierce shot into the roof of the net to give Ingolstadt an early lead. The Swabians were back on terms just five minutes later, however, Filip Kostic completing a flowing counter-attack with his fifth goal of the season. The in-form Serbian then almost set up Timo Werner for Stuttgart’s second of the afternoon, but the 20-year-old’s header looped inches over the crossbar.
Kramny’s charges started the second half strongly and went close through Christian Gentner, but Mathew Leckie headed in Dario Lezcano’s in-swinging free-kick to put Die Schanzer back in front after 56 minutes. Lezcano, who joined Ingolstadt from Swiss outfit FC Luzern in January, curled another superb free-kick into the top corner of Przemyslaw Tyton’s goal to extend the hosts’ lead just after the hour mark, before Lukas Rupp’s header set up a nervous finale. Stuttgart threw bodies forward in search of an equaliser and when Kostic was brought down inside the penalty area by Marvin Matip, Daniel Didavi slotted home the resulting penalty to earn VfB a share of the spoils.
Man of the match
The hosts struggled to cope with Kostic’s pace and trickery all afternoon. His ninth-minute goal settled Stuttgart nerves following Hartmann’s opener, before the Serbian earned his side a late penalty and a chance to leave Bavaria with a precious point.
Stuttgart will be the happier of the two teams after rescuing a draw, but the point lifts Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side eight points clear of the bottom three with just eight games remaining - which the 48-year-old would certainly have taken at the start of the season.
- Hartmann’s fourth-minute strike was Ingolstadt’s fastest goal of the season so far.After scoring just three in 41 appearances prior to Saturday’s clash, Kostic has now scored five in ten games for VfB.Lezcano’s stunning free-kick was his first Bundesliga goal.Didavi’s penalty was his tenth of the current campaign - a personal best.
Ingolstadt: Özcan - da Costa, M. Matip, Hübner, Ro. Bauer - Cohan, Roger, Christiansen - Mo. Hartmann, Lezcano, Leckie
Stuttgart: Tyton - Großkreutz, Schwaab, Niedermeier, Insua - Serey Die - Rupp, Gentner, Didavi, Kostic - Ti. Werner