Schalke beat Rostock 1-0, go second as Hamburg crash

April 6th, 2008 - 1:06 pm ICT by admin  

(German Football Roundup)
Hamburg, April 6 (DPA) Schalke 04 climbed into second place in the Bundesliga standings with a 1-0 victory over Hansa Rostock. Halil Altintop headed the winner Saturday as the 2007 runners-up Schalke moved ahead of SV Hamburg, who crashed to their first defeat in a dozen matches, 1-0 at rising champions VfB Stuttgart.

Bayern Munich lead the way with 54 points ahead of a Sunday home match with VfL Bochum, in which they have the chance to move nine points clear at the top.

Schalke have 48 points, Hamburg and Werder Bremen 47 each, and Stuttgart 45. The tight race for European berths also includes Bayer Leverkusen (who have 44 and visit Borussia Dortmund Sunday), VfL Wolfsburg (43) and Eintracht Frankfurt (42).

“It isn’t easy right now. The teams fighting for the Champions League berths are very close together,” said Hamburg playmaker Rafael van der Vaart.

Schalke were far from outstanding four games after their 1-0 quarter-final first-leg Champions League defeat at home against Spanish giants Barcelona, but at least claimed all three points this time around under the closed roof of their arena.

The Turkey midfielder Altintop grabbed the winner seven minutes into the second half when he headed home an accurate cross from Albert Streit.

Substitute forward Kevin Kuranyi later wasted three golden opportunity to wrap up the tie, but Schalke hung on to win and are now unbeaten in five games.

Injury- and suspension-ridden Hamburg, by contrast, lost for the first time since Dec 1, with Roberto Hilbert volleying home Stuttgart’s lone goal off a corner from Pavel Pardo.

Stuttgart, for their part, have won six of their last eight unbeaten matches in an impressive comeback after a poor first half of the season.

Stuttgart are the second best 2008 team, surpassed only by VfL Wolfsburg who beat Hanover 96 3-2. Ashkan Dejagah was the hero, scoring in the 20th and 71st and setting up Marcelinho for the other.

Arnold Bruggink and Jiri Stajner were on target for Hanover.

Bremen ended a winless run of three games with a 2-1 at mid-table Hertha Berlin. Markus Rosenberg tapped in Clemens Fritz’ cross in the opening minute and Diego fed Tim Borowski for a 73rd-minute winner after Hertha got a temporary equaliser from Andre Lima.

Nuremberg, meanwhile, left last place with a 3-1 victory in Frankfurt, their first win in 11 matches. Robert Vittek and Zvjezdan Misimovic broke a 1-1 tie in the 49th and 80th after the match was interrupted for 20 minutes in the first half when flares were thrown on the pitch - seemingly from Nuremberg fans.

Arminia Bielefeld also got their first win of the year, 1-0 over SC Karlsruhe in injury time from Leonidas Kampantais. MSV Duisburg are the new bottom club after losing 1-0 at home against Energie Cottbus Friday night.

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in World |