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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Bayern Clinches Bundesliga Crown

BERLIN -- Bayern Munich clinched its 14th Bundesliga title Saturday as Austrian striker Toni Polster's hat trick ended Bayer Leverkusen's improbable championship bid.


Munich edged VfB Stuttgart 4-2 and moved four points clear of Leverkusen heading into the season's final round next Saturday.


Polster's three goals -- two on penalties -- paced Cologne to a 4-0 victory over Leverkusen, a team which had to fight to the final round of last season to avoid relegation.


Italian striker Ruggeiro Rizzitelli connected for the go-ahead score in the 65th minute for Munich, breaking a 2-2 deadlock after his team rallied after trailing by a goal down early in the match against Stuttgart.


Polster, picking up his second hat trick within a week, now has 21 goals after riding the bench to start the season.


Leverkusen coach Christoph Daum, lauded for the way he took over a group of underachievers this season and whipped them to a title run, was helpless as his team's nerves appeared to collapse with the the championship on the line.


Leverkusen, with Borussia Dortmund losing 2-1 to Hamburger SV, sealed second place and a berth in next season's Champions League. Munich's title also gave its coach, Giovanni Trappatoni, his 18th championship or cup.


Polster converted his first penalty in the 11th minute, capitalizing on a major mistake by Leverkusen keeper Dirk Heinan, who was forced to foul Cologne striker Ion Vladoiu after he lost control of a pass back.


Polster then headed in a shot in the 60th minute before completing his feat with a second penalty five minutes before the whistle.


Midfielder Janos Dziwior scored Cologne's second goal just before the half in a match marred by numerous shoving incidents, one almost leading to the ejection of Leverkusen's German international Ulf Kirsten.


Stuttgart's 1-0 lead against Munich on Danny Schwarz's goal was erased by scores from German national team players Christian Ziege and Mehmet Scholl.


After Fredi Bobic knotted the match again at 2-2 in the 51st minute, Rizzitelli fired the go-ahead goal and Marcel Witeczek sealed the win in the match's waning minutes.


VfL Bochum, promoted just this season, almost wrapped up a UEFA Cup berth with a 6-0 rout of FC St. Paul, while Fortuna Duesseldorf's 1-0 loss to Werder Bremen sealed its relegation.


(For other results, see Scorecard.)