Augsburg stay bottom after Bundesliga ref drama

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Posted Monday, November 21, 2011 by YAHOO Sport

Augsburg remained rooted to the bottom of the German league on Sunday after their 2-1 defeat at VfB Stuttgart as the Bundesliga comes to terms with the attempted suicide of a top-level referee.

Austria striker Martin Harnik scored both Stuttgart's goals in the win which leaves them sixth in the league table, while Augsburg, in Germany's top flight for the first time, are two points adrift at the foot.

Defending champions Borussia Dortmund pulled off an upset on Saturday night when teenage star Mario Goetze scored the winner to secure a 1-0 victory at Bayern Munich.

The win is a confidence boost to Dortmund, who must win at Arsenal on Wednesday to keep their Champions League hopes alive, while Bayern can book their place in the knock-out phase if they beat Villarreal at home on Tuesday.

But the weekend's Bundesliga programme was over-shadowed by the attempted suicide of referee Babak Rafati, 41, who was discovered in the bathtub of his hotel room in Cologne by his assistant referees having cut open his veins.

Rafati is being treated in a Cologne hospital, but his attempts to kill himself come two years after the suicide of Germany goalkeeper Robert Enke and the latest news has stunned football-mad Germany.

His father, Djalal Rafati, says there was no hint at his son's turmoil and that he had a steady job as a banker, living in Hanover, and was in a stable relationship.

"He never spoke to me about depression or burn-out. If he had done that, I would have reacted," Djalal Rafati told Cologne newspaper Express on Sunday.

"He was very happy (being a referee).

"I can't understand why Babak did this."

The Cologne-Mainz match which Rafati had been due to officiate was cancelled 40 minutes before kick-off, but the other games went ahead.

Dortmund claim second only by virtue of goal difference after Borussia Moenchengladbach's Marco Reus scored a hat-trick in the 5-0 hammering of Werder Bremen to join Borussia on 26 points with Bayern on 28.

Like Goetze, Reus is one of Germany's rising stars and his three goals left him with seven in his last three league games and 10 from 13 Bundesliga matches this season.

Premier League side Manchester City and Bayern are just two of the teams interested in signing the rising star.

Schalke moved up to fourth after Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, twice, Germany Under-21 captain Lewis Holtby and Raul scored in the 4-0 win over Nuremberg.

Ten-man Hanover drop to eighth in the league after they were hammered 4-1 at Wolfsburg as Ivory Coast striker Didier Ya Konan was sent off for unsporting conduct after throwing the ball at Japan's Makoto Hasebe in the 58th minute.

Hertha Berlin were held to a 2-2 draw at Freiburg, whose second-half replacement striker Stefan Reisinger hit the equaliser in the 95th minute.

Bayer Leverkusen warmed up for Wednesday's visit of Chelsea in the Champions League with a 2-0 win over Kaiserslautern with Michael Ballack getting on the scoresheet.



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