Tue, Apr 07, 2015 - Page 19 News List

Schalke held, Hertha ease their relegation worries

AP, BERLIN

Augsburg and Schalke 04 played out a goalless draw in the Bundesliga on Sunday, while Hertha BSC eased their relegation worries with a 2-0 home win over SC Paderborn 07.

Schalke striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar had a clear chance in the 54th minute, but shot straight at Marwin Hitz with only the goalkeeper to beat after Tranquillo Barnetta won the ball.

The Netherlands striker has not scored in 10 league games.

Raul Bobadilla and Caiuby came closest for Augsburg in a hard-fought match with few clear-cut chances.

“We threw everything we had into it, but we lacked that little bit of luck up front,” Augsburg midfielder Tobias Werner said. “Still, we can’t complain after drawing with Schalke.”

With seven games remaining, Schalke remained fifth, a point ahead of Augsburg in sixth, the last European qualification position.

The dropped points mean Schalke can almost forget about the UEFA Champions League next season, with Bayer 04 Leverkusen eight points clear in fourth place.

“We’re disappointed not to have won,” Schalke coach Roberto di Matteo said. “We played a good game.”

Shortly before kickoff, Augsburg announced that coach Markus Weinzierl and sports director Stefan Reuter had extended their contracts by two years to 2019 and 2020 respectively.

Valentin Stocker’s first Bundesliga goal, a 68th-minute strike, and Nico Schulz’s 88th-minute volley were enough to lift Hertha seven points clear of the relegation zone.

Swiss midfielder Stocker was first to react to the rebound after Lukas Kruse pushed Marvin Plattenhardt’s well-struck free-kick onto the crossbar.

Schulz finally sealed the result from Peter Pekarik’s cross after Salomon Kalou and Genki Haraguchi had both missed good chances.

“It wasn’t a pretty game for long periods, but we remained patient. The chances came and we took them,” Hertha general manager Michael Preetz said.

Newcomers Paderborn remained in the relegation zone, one point above bottom side VfB Stuttgart.

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