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Bundesliga wrap: Nilsson double sparks Nuremberg
Created on Apr. 07, 2013 8:31 PM EST
Nuremberg continued their good form by claiming a surprise 2-1 win over Europa League hopefuls Mainz on Sunday.
Swedish defender Per Nilsson starred for Nuremberg with an unlikely brace as the hosts leapfrogged Hamburg into 10th position on the Bundesliga table, while extending their unbeaten run to nine games.
The defeat was a blow for Mainz, who were looking to consolidate sixth position but will instead end the weekend in eighth, three points adrift of the Europa League spots.
After a scoreless opening 45 minutes, Nuremberg hit the front against the run of play through Nilsson, who guided his header into the net nine minutes into the second half.
However, Mainz were finally rewarded for their persistence with an equaliser just six minutes later.
Nicolai Muller got on the end of a long ball and chipped his effort over oncoming goalkeeper Raphael Schaefer.
Mainz remained on level terms for only nine minutes after Nilsson popped up at the back post to bag his second of the match.
In Sunday's other result, ninth-placed Hannover were held to a goalless draw by strugglers Stuttgart at AWD Arena.
Chances were few and far between during the first half and while the visitors had their moments in the second stanza, sound defending from Mirko Slomka's men and an in-form Ron-Robert Zieler prevented Stuttgart from scoring.