Lukas Podolski netted a late penalty to earn an important away victory for Koeln against Stuttgart.Even the combined effects of a sporting and managerial crisis could not stop Koeln from extending their unbeaten streak in Stuttgart to 15 years. A late Lukas Podolski strike lifted the visitors to a surprise victory, promoting die Geissboecke from last place in the Bundesliga to 16th.
After Georg Niedermeier was adjudged to have hauled down Milivoje Novakovic inside the box, Podolski's spot kick put the visitors ahead with eight minutes left to play. The goal came shortly after Stuttgart striker Pavel Pogrebnyak narrowly missed out on the opener, but was denied by the woodwork.
Moments before, Niedermeier had also missed a clear chance over the bar. Koeln had a chance to put the game to rest late, but Sven Ulreich made an outstanding save from Novakovic, who was through on goal. The goalkeeper's heroics set up a thrilling finale, but the hosts were unable to find an equalizer.
The result lifts Koeln further towards the safety of 15th place, but the struggling Geissboecke remain in 17th, level on points with Stuttgart, but behind on goal difference.
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