Stuttgart beats Hoffenheim 2-1 in Bundesliga
BERLIN (AP) Bosnia striker Vedad Ibisevic scored twice on his first return to former club Hoffenheim to give Stuttgart a 2-1 win in the Bundesliga on Friday.
Ibisevic, who joined Stuttgart in January, scored with the visiting side's first real chance in the eighth minute when Khalid Boulahrouz played the ball between two Hoffenheim defenders for the 27-year-old to dispatch a simple shot beyond Tom Starke.
Boulahrouz also set up his second in the 43rd, when the Dutch defender sent in a fine cross from the right for Ibisevic to score his ninth goal of the season, and fourth for Stuttgart, with a diving header.
Hoffenheim was given a lifeline when Maza tripped Daniel Williams in the penalty area, and another Bosnian, Sejad Salihovic made no mistake from the spot in the 74th.
However, despite finishing strongly, the home side was unable to find an equalizer.
"I'm happy that Vedad had such a golden return," said Stuttgart coach Bruno Labbadia.
For Hoffenheim coach Markus Babbel it was a second defeat to a former club in six days following Saturday's 7-1 thrashing at Bayern Munich, where he began his Bundesliga debut as a player.
"We were too naive over 90 minutes," said Babbel, who began his coaching career at Stuttgart. "If we don't cut out the mistakes, we're still going to concede goals."
Stuttgart climbs to seventh ahead of the weekend's games, while Hoffenheim, which has never beaten Stuttgart, remains 12th.
Borussia Dortmund, which hosts Werder Bremen on Saturday, leads the Bundesliga by five points from Bayern, which visits Hertha Berlin, also on Saturday.
Updated March 16, 2012