Sun, Apr 26, 2015 - Page 19 News List

Mainz dash Schalke hopes with 2-0 win

Reuters, BERLIN, Germany

Schalke 04’s Europa League qualifying hopes were hit when they slumped to a 2-0 Bundesliga defeat at FSV Mainz 05 with central defender Stefan Bell scoring twice in three minutes on Friday.

The 23-year-old former German youth international first tapped in after Schalke, without a win in their last six games, failed to clear a corner in the 28th minute.

He then drilled in a header from yet another corner kick three minutes later.

Schalke, who have already written off making the Champions League, are stuck in fifth place on 42 points with four matches left, level with sixth-placed Augsburg, who were to play yesterday.

Having scored once in their last four games, Schalke again struggled up front despite fielding two strikers in Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, without a league goal since scoring against Mainz in November last year, and Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting.

They did hit the woodwork twice late in the game through Leon Goretzka and Julian Draxler after the hosts had earlier done the same.

The teams finishing fifth and sixth qualify for the Europa League, but Werder Bremen, on 38 points, and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, with 37, can gain ground on die Konigsblauen, who have won once in their last 10 league games, with their game in hand.

The victory also kept alive Mainz’s slim hopes of a top-six finish, with the club on 37 points in eighth.

Leaders Bayern Munich, 12 points clear with five matches left, could secure the title if they beat visitors Hertha BSC in their match, which was scheduled for yesterday, and VfL Wolfsburg fail to win at Borussia Moenchengladbach today.

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