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By ESPN Staff
Apr 16, 2006

Stuttgart maintain slim Euro prospects

BERLIN, April 16 (Reuters) - VfB Stuttgart came back from two goals down for a 3-3 draw against 10-man Hanover on Sunday that keeps alive their hopes of a UEFA Cup spot next season.

Denmark's Jon Dahl Tomasson tapped in a cross in the 82nd minute for the equaliser that leaves Stuttgart on 40 points, four behind fifth-placed Bayer Leverkusen and a direct place in European competition with four matches left.

Hanno Balitsch and Jiri Stajner scored first half goals for Hanover before their captain Altin Lala was sent off with his second yellow card in the 37th minute.

Stuttgart's Danijel Ljuboja pulled one back early in the second half before Germany defender Per Mertesacker beat two defenders to restore Honover's two-goal lead with a memorable header.

However, Germany midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger brought Stuttgart back into the game with the first goal of his Bundesliga career in the 77th minute.

In Sunday's other match, Nuremberg beat Kaiserslautern 3-2 thanks to two goals from Robert Vittek.

Nuremberg climbed three places to ninth on 37 points while Kaiserslautern, despite two goals from Halil Altintop, remained stuck in the relegation zone with 27 points, three from safety.

Vittek has scored 13 goals this season, all since the winter break, while Altintop has 18 and is second in the Bundesliga scorers list two goals behind Werder Bremen's Miroslav Klose.