BERLIN, Feb 27: Josh Sargent helped Werder Bremen end Eintracht Frankfurt’s unbeaten start to the year with the winning goal in a bad-tempered 2-1 defeat for the Bundesliga’s in-form team.

The United States forward scored one goal, had another ruled out, and saw another goal he set up ruled out on a busy night for the video referee.

Sargent’s winner in the 62nd minute was given by VAR despite looking offside in TV replays. Sargent didn’t celebrate after scoring as he seemed to believe he was just offside for Maximilian Eggestein’s pass.

But the goal was awarded, giving Sargent his third score in the Bundesliga and fifth overall this season. He previously scored at Frankfurt on October 31 and at Hertha Berlin on January 23, but had not scored at home in any competition since last season’s Bundesliga finale in June against Cologne.

Sargent’s goal meant the end of Frankfurt’s 11-game unbeaten run in the league since December 11. Frankfurt previously won eight from its nine Bundesliga games in 2021 with the only blip a draw at Freiburg.

Rival players clashed during the game earning yellow cards, while Bremen coach Florian Kohfeldt argued with Frankfurt counterpart Adi Hutter on the sideline. Frankfurt defender Martin Hinteregger scuffled with Bremen forward Niklas Fullkrug after the final whistle, when the coaches resumed their verbal sledging.

“It’s always such a fight and emotional against Bremen. In the end it was much too much,” Frankfurt captain Makoto Hasebe said.

Frankfurt’s top scorer, Andre Silva, missed last weekend’s win over Bayern Munich with an injury picked up in training, but it didn’t take long for the Portuguese striker to get going with the visitors’ opening goal in the ninth minute.

Filip Kostic, who is so important to Frankfurt’s attacking threat, crossed after a corner for Silva to head in his 19th goal of the season off the far post.

Bremen fought back. Sargent had a goal ruled out for offside in the buildup and it served as encouragement for the confidence-hit home team. Bremen hadn’t scored in two games. – AP