Schalke win in Cup, Magath restores 10-day Christmas break

Reuters, BERLIN

Thu, Dec 23, 2010 - Page 18

Schalke 04 needed an 84th-minute goal from Jefferson Farfan to edge second division Augsburg 1-0 and advance to the German Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday.

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim eased past Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-0 with goals from Iceland’s Gylfi Sigurdsson and striker Demba Ba.

Schalke, who have won their last three Bundesliga games after a bad start and qualified top of their Champions League group for the round-of-16, saw Christmas come early when coach Felix Magath restored their holidays to 10 days.

Magath had been angered by Schalke’s bad start to the season and late last month he gave them less than a week off and ordered them to return to training on Monday, but after their win in Augsburg his players were told to return on Jan. 2 instead.

“I am very satisfied and that is why we all together will have a break until Jan. 2,” Magath told reporters. “I am satisfied with my team’s performance. It was a tough task, especially given the pitch condition.”

Schalke found it hard going against a well-positioned Augsburg on a rough pitch in freezing temperatures.

The Bavarians even threatened through Tobias Werner midway through the second half, but he failed to beat goalkeeper Manuel Neuer from point-blank range.

Spaniard Raul took on the Augsburg defense single-handedly with six minutes left, shaking off three defenders and sending Peruvian Farfan through down the right to fire in the winner.

Hoffenheim had an easier task. Sigurdsson scored with a free-kick from 20m in the 35th minute, as goalkeeper Christofer Heimeroth picked the wrong corner, to take the lead.

Ba made sure of their quarter-final spot in the 63nd minute when ’Gladbach were punished for their numerous defensive absences.

The loss was ’Gladbach’s sixth consecutive defeat in all competitions and, with the team in bottom place in the Bundesliga as well, coach Michael Frontzeck’s future at the club is now in serious doubt going into the four-week winter break.