Schalke draws 0-0 at Augsburg to stay 5th in Bundesliga
BERLIN (AP) — Augsburg and Schalke played out a goalless draw in the Bundesliga on Sunday, while Hertha Berlin eased its relegation worries with a 2-0 home win over Paderborn.
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 hasn’t 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 and a point ahead of Augsburg in sixth, the last European qualification position. Hoffenheim was two points behind.
The dropped points mean Schalke can almost forget about Champions League football next season, with Bayer Leverkusen eight points clear in fourth.
“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 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 to 11th.
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 both missed good chances.
“It wasn’t a pretty game for long periods but we remained patient. The goal chances came and we took them,” Hertha general manager Michael Preetz said.
Newcomer Paderborn remained in the relegation zone, one point above bottom side Stuttgart.