Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s 25th goal of the season salvaged a 1-1 draw for Schalke 04 at relegation-threatened Augsburg on Sunday, while SC Freiburg ensured they will stay in the Bundesliga with a 0-0 draw at Hannover 96.
Huntelaar’s 38th-minute strike canceled out Augsburg’s opener in the sixth minute, when defender Sebastian Langkamp crashed his header in off the crossbar from a corner.
“We didn’t start well. We fell asleep and they scored,” Schalke captain Benedikt Hoewedes said. “We have to be happy with the point.”
Schalke looked out of sorts and they had goalkeeper Lars Unnerstall to thank for denying Axel Bellinghausen early on.
Huntelaar scored with his first shot on goal when he controlled a long ball, before firing an unstoppable effort into the far corner. It was the Dutchman’s 44th goal in all competitions this season.
The home side pushed hard for a winning goal, with Marcel Ndjeng’s header flying agonizingly wide after an hour’s play, before Matthias Ostrzolek should have done better when he fired over.
Augsburg are four points above the relegation zone with two games remaining, while Freiburg are safe after stretching their unbeaten run to nine matches in the late game.
“That was an outstanding performance from everyone and there’s no need to mention that [Freiburg coach] Christian Streich was the most important piece of the puzzle,” Freiburg sporting director Dirk Dufner said.
It is a remarkable achievement for former assistant coach Streich, who took over at the end of December with Freiburg in last place and five points from safety.
“I’m just a small part of it. We all worked together,” Streich said. “I want to sincerely thank all those who helped me.”
Hannover, meanwhile, preserved their unbeaten home run and they remain in the last Europa League qualification place, four points ahead of TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and VfL Wolfsburg.
Two well-drilled sides canceled each other out in the first half, before Hannover defender Emanuel Pogatetz blocked Anton Putsila’s effort after the break.
Freiburg goalkeeper Oliver Baumann then did well to stop Didier Ya Konan at the other end.
Pogatetz — with blood streaming down his face — headed narrowly wide from a corner with a quarter of an hour remaining, but neither side could deliver the knockout blow.