A cheeky back-heel goal from a mask-wearing Klaas-Jan Huntelaar set Schalke 04 on the road to a 3-1 victory over Augsburg on Sunday that nudged them up to fourth place in the Bundesliga.
The Dutch striker scored the opening goal — his 13th of the season — in the 16th minute past goalkeeper Mohamed Amsif from close range. He then made certain of the victory, heading the ball on from a corner for Raul to score the third in the 85th minute.
Huntelaar was wearing a protective mask after breaking his nose a month ago.
Amsif should have saved Christian Fuchs’ speculative effort from the left wing in the 66th minute for Schalke’s second, after Augsburg’s Sascha Moelders had equalized in the 48th minute with his first goal in 12 games.
“It’s a thankless job for a goalkeeper, but I should have stopped that — quite clearly,” Amsif said. “We’re missing the intelligence to make more from fewer chances.”
Moelders might have equalized in the 77th minute, but the striker fired wide with only Lars Unnerstall to beat.
“I had a great chance. That’s why I’m so annoyed,” Moelders said.
Tobias Werner wasted another chance four minutes later, before Raul put the issue beyond doubt.
“We made life difficult for ourselves,” Schalke coach Huub Stevens said after his 300th Bundesliga game.
Augsburg, who have only scored as many goals as Huntelaar, remain bottom of the table.
Earlier, Hamburg SV striker Jose Paulo Guerrero scored in a 2-0 win over Nuremberg to stretch the club’s unbeaten league run to seven games and to continue their revival under new coach Thorsten Fink.
Guerrero scored in the 24th minute when he beat Timmy Simons to a long ball from goalkeeper Jaroslav Drobny, before lifting his shot over Raphael Schaefer in the Nuremberg goal from a tight angle.
Marcell Jansen sealed the win in the 62nd minute when Goekhan Toere combined with Ivo Ilicevic to elude three Nuremberg defenders, before playing the Hamburg midfielder through. Jansen had only Schaefer to beat.
After two wins in a row, Hamburg climb three points above the relegation zone to 11th, while Nuremberg drop to 15th.