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Sports Fans return to Bundesliga games for first time since March

20:26  19 september  2020
20:26  19 september  2020 Source:   msn.com

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BERLIN (AP) — Supporters returned to the Bundesliga for the first time since coronavirus restrictions began in March but none of them saw their teams win opening games of the new season. No away fans were allowed across the league as strict measures against the coronavirus remained in

BERLIN: Supporters returned to the Bundesliga for the first time since coronavirus restrictions began in March but none of them saw their teams win opening games of the new season on Saturday. No away fans were allowed across the league as strict measures against the coronavirus remained in

André Hahn holding a football ball in front of a crowd © Provided by The Canadian Press

BERLIN — Supporters returned to the Bundesliga for the first time since coronavirus restrictions began in March but none of them saw their teams win opening games of the new season on Saturday.

No away fans were allowed across the league as strict measures against the coronavirus remained in place.

It meant Arminia Bielefeld faced 6,500 Eintracht Frankfurt supporters as it held on for a 1-1 draw on its return to the top tier in Germany after an 11-year absence. Midfielder Cebio Soukou scored for Bielefeld in the 51st minute, before André Silva equalized in the 62nd.

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Fans returned to German football stadiums this weekend for first time in months. Union Berlin fans were delighted to be back despite losing 3-1 to Augsburg. As the Bundesliga returned to action this week, so did its fans , many of them for the first time since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

Fans of Brighton football club will be able to watch their team for the first time since March . Crowds at sporting events were stopped in March because of the coronavirus pandemic, now the government wants to gradually bring fans back into NBA play-off games postponed in protest over shooting.

Some 8,000 fans were allowed to watch promoted Stuttgart’s return against Freiburg, only for the team to lose 3-2 despite a late fightback.

Union Berlin lost 3-1 at home to Augsburg, Cologne was beaten 3-2 at home by Hoffenheim, and Hertha Berlin coasted to a 4-1 win at Werder Bremen.

Plans to have fans at Cologne’s game against Hoffenheim were shelved due to a rise in coronavirus infections locally.

Former Union goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz helped Augsburg win in front of 5,000 fans in Köpenick with a brilliant reflex save to deny Cedric Teuchert a late equalizer before André Hahn sealed the visitors’ win.

Gikiewicz had received a warm reception before kickoff. The fans then cheered their new goalkeeper, Andreas Luthe, who made the switch in the opposite direction.

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Games could resume next month with just over 300 people in the ground and strict safety measures in place.

An almost empty Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund, Germany, will host one of the first games as the Bundesliga returns .Credit Erol Dogrudogan/Reuters.

Ruben Vargas scored with Augsburg’s first chance in the 41st.

Former Germany striker Max Kruse came on in the 71st for his Union debut, but it was another forward, Marius Bülter, who finally equalized in the 74th, finishing off a low cross from Christopher Lenz.

Bülter almost set up another minutes later, then won a corner as the home side pushed for more.

But Michael Gregoritsch scored against the run of play for Augsburg in the 82nd, and Gikiewicz’s brilliant save denied his former team.

Borussia Dortmund hosts Borussia Mönchengladbach later Saturday.

Eight-time defending champion Bayern Munich got the league underway with an 8-0 rout of Schalke on Friday without fans.

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Ciarán Fahey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cfaheyAP

By CiaráN Fahey, The Associated Press

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