BERLIN Sebastian Rudy nodded in a 79th-minute equaliser on Sunday as Hoffenheim rescued a 1-1 draw at Schalke 04, a result that serves neither team in their quest for a European spot.
Schalke, who are unbeaten in their past seven matches in all competitions, have only themselves to blame for not killing off the game earlier after taking a fifth-minute lead through Alessandro Schoepf.
Instead of scoring again, they allowed the visitors to come back when Germany international Rudy was left with too much space at the far post to head in a cross.
The draw meant Hoffenheim missed the chance to join third-placed Borussia Dortmund, remaining two points behind in fourth place on 38.
Schalke dropped to 12th on 27. Earlier on Sunday, Borussia Moenchengladbach beat Ingolstadt 2-0 with second-half goals from Lars Stindl, who clearly used his hand in the process, and Andre Hahn to move up to 10th on 29.
Leaders Bayern Munich are five points clear following their 8-0 demolition of Hamburg SV on Saturday with Robert Lewandowski scoring a hat-trick.
RB Leipzig are in second on 48 following their 3-1 win over Cologne.
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, editing by Neil Robinson)