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Freiburg down Schalke 2-0 in Bundesliga

IANS logoIANS 08-05-2017

Freiburg remain on course for a berth in UEFA Europa League as the "Breisgauer" on Sunday overcame uninspired Schalke thanks to two goals from Niederlechner, reports Xinhua news agency.

The hosts had a bright start on home soil as Janik Haberer's build-up work allowed Niederlechner to beat Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann 22 minutes into the encounter.

Schalke lacked in penetration and were unable to grab a foothold into the game. To make things worse, Sead Kolasinac felled Maximilian Philipp inside the box giving Niederlechner the chance to wrap up his brace after converting the awarded foul play penalty in the 31st minute.

After the restart, Freiburg started where they left off as goalie Faehrmann had to be on guard to deny Niederlechner, Philipp and Haberer promising opportunities.

The "Royal Blues" were unable to respond but showed a vital sign with a long-range effort from Leon Goretzka that tested Freiburg custodian Alexander Schwolow before substitute Nils Petersen missed the chance to triple the lead in the closing period.

With the result, Freiburg jumped to the fifth place, which would ensure a berth for Europe whereas Schalke stay in the 10th place.

Elsewhere, Hamburg and Mainz shared the spoils in the relegation battle following a goalless draw. Thus, neither club was able to move away from the Bundesliga drop zone with two rounds to spare.

Mainz sit in the 15th place and are within touching distance to the relegation zone while Hamburg continue in the 16th place, which is a relegation play off spot.

"We still have to get along with the difficult situation. However, every single point can be important," Hamburg's coach Markus Gisdol said.

"It was a difficult game for us but one point was our minimum goal," Mainz coach Martin Schmidt said.

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