Augsburg improved their chances of avoiding relegation by beating Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0 on Sunday, with South Korea international striker Ji Dong-won scoring both goals.
In the early match, VfB Stuttgart capitalized on two defensive errors to beat Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-0 and dent the visitors’ hopes of securing a place in next season’s Europa League.
However, the dent remained smaller than feared because of Augsburg’s win over Frankfurt, who stayed in sixth place, one point ahead of Moenchengladbach, in the last European slot.
Augsburg dominated the game against Eintracht and wasted a penalty along with a score of opportunities. The victory put Augsburg in 16th, the relegation playoff place, three points ahead of TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and three points behind Fortuna Duesseldorf.
Ji put the home side ahead in the 27th minute when his shot from the right side of the penalty area was deflected by Anderson past Eintracht goalkeeper Oka Nikolov.
Ausgburg earned a penalty in the 32nd minute when Takashi Inui felled Paul Verhaegh, the Augsburg captain who had earlier struck the crossbar.
Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker fired the penalty high over the crossbar.
Ji was denied a second late in the first half, with the referee ruling the South Korean had his foot too high while controlling the ball, but he got his goal and capped an outstanding performance in the 55th minute after Inui gave the ball away at the edge of his area. Jan Morawek slipped the ball to Ji, who slotted past Nikolov inside the far post.
In Stuttgart, the goals came in the first half and both were gifted by Moenchengladbach goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen and his defenders.
Ter Stegen’s clumsy attempt to catch a free-kick ended with the ball falling out of his hands, hitting Luuk de Jong on the head and then bouncing off Alvaro Dominguez’s head into the net for an own-goal in the 28th minute.
The goalkeeper was also partly to blame for the second in the 34th minute, when a half-hearted attempt to rush out resulted in Christian Gentner chipping the ball over Ter Stegen into the empty net.
The win was Stuttgart’s first in six games at home and moved them into 12th place. Moenchengladbach stayed seventh.
Stuttgart play SC Freiburg in the semi-finals of the DFB Pokal tomorrow.