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Kruse converts 16th straight penalty to match record

Max Kruse converted his 16th straight penalty kick to match a Bundesliga record as Union Berlin routed Arminia Bielefeld 5-0 on Saturday.

The former Germany striker scored from the spot early in the second half to tie Hans-Joachim Abel’s record in the top division. Abel scored his penalties for Fortuna Düsseldorf, Bochum and Schalke between 1973 and 1984.

It was Union’s biggest-ever Bundesliga win, and it lifted the Köpenick-based club to fourth ahead of Borussia Mönchengladbach’s visit to Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday.

Kruse was involved in three other goals.

Japanese midfielder Keita Endo got Union off to a flying start in the fourth minute with his first Bundesliga goal. It was flagged offside, but a VAR check showed Sheraldo Becker, who gave Endo a straightforward finish, was onside when Kruse played him through.

Kruse set up the unmarked Robert Andrich to sweep in under the crossbar in the 13th, then played Becker in for Union’s third before the break.

Kruse made it 4-0 with his penalty in the 52nd, before Akaki Gogia chipped the ball beyond a defender for Cedric Teuchert to complete the rout in the 89th.

Leipzig moved top ahead of the late game between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich with a 3-0 win at home over Freiburg.

Ibrahima Konaté made the breakthrough for Leipzig, forcing Nordi Mukiele’s cross over from close range in the 26th.

Marcel Sabitzer made sure with a penalty in the 70th, before Angeliño wrapped it up with a brilliant free kick in the 89th.

Eintracht Frankfurt came from two goals down to draw with Stuttgart 2-2 and Hertha Berlin won 3-0 at Augsburg.

Mainz’s six-game losing start is over after a 2-2 draw at home with fellow struggler Schalke. It stretched Schalke’s club-record winless run to 23 league games overall.

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