Demirbay's late equalizer sends Hoffenheim to Europa League

COLOGNE, Germany (AP) — Kerem Demirbay scored in the third minute of injury time to send Hoffenheim to the Europa League at least with a 1-1 draw at Cologne in the Bundesliga on Friday.

Demirbay's late strike ensured third-place Hoffenheim cannot finish any lower than sixth, which guarantees a spot in the Europa League, while the point may yet prove valuable in its quest for automatic Champions League qualification.

Cologne forward Yuya Osako's botched clearance proved costly for his side — which had missed several chances to seal the result — when he failed to clear and Niklas Suele somehow managed to get the ball to Demirbay, who fired into the left corner.

Instead of moving fifth and level with Hertha Berlin, Cologne moved sixth, ahead of Freiburg on goal difference and two points behind Berlin — ahead of the rest of the 30th round.

It had looked like Leon Bittencourt was about to do former club Borussia Dortmund a favor with his goal inside the hour-mark when Jonas Hector found him free at the far post.

Still, fourth-place Borussia Dortmund was two points behind Hoffenheim before its visit Saturday to Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Third place in the Bundesliga guarantees Champions League participation the following season, while fourth place only secures a playoff for Europe's premier club competition.