Schalke blast Bochum to boost Champions League chances

May 7th, 2008 - 12:35 pm ICT by admin  

Hamburg, May 7 (DPA)) Schalke took a major step towards qualification for the Champions League with a commanding 3-0 victory over Bochum Tuesday. Goals from Gerald Asamoah (34th minute), Ivan Rakitic (67) and Marcelo Bordon (85) moved Schalke above Werder Bremen to second place in the Bundesliga.

Schalke are on 58 points, nine behind Bayern Munich who have already clinched the title, and one ahead of Bremen.

They now have to wait for Wednesday’s northern derby between SV Hamburg and Bremen to discover whether they have clinched at least third spot in the league.

“The game went well for us,” said Schalke’s caretaker coach Mike Bueskens.

“We had good ball control, were patient and waited for the right moment. Asamoah’s goal came at the right moment. Bochum had to come at us. That gave us room which we used well.”

Bueskens said the victory did not necessarily give Schalke a psychological advantage but “we have done our homework” and it was now up to Bremen and Hamburg to show what they could do.

“I am pleased with this victory. It was an important step in the right direction and that’s what counts,” he said.

VfB Stuttgart’s outside hopes of Champions League qualification crumbled in a 3-2 defeat at Borussia Dortmund.

Tinga in the 35th and Alexander Frei with a double - a 59th-minute free-kick and a second 20 minutes later - earned the points for Dortmund.

Mario Gomez headed a short-lived equaliser 10 minutes after the break and scored again seven minutes from time, but Stuttgart could not get the point despite some near misses in the closing minutes.

Bottom club Hansa Rostock are now close to relegation after a 0-3 loss by Hanover for whom Hanno Balitsch in the 19th and substitute Jan Rosenthal in the 47th and 87th minutes were on target.

“With today’s defeat relegation is sealed. We worked hard but weren’t rewarded,” said Rostock defender Christian Rahn.

Rostock, on 27 points, are now five points adrift of fourth-last Arminia Bielefeld.

Energie Cottbus, fifth from bottom, earned a point in a 1-1 draw at Karlsruhe but are still in relegation danger, a point above Bielefeld.

Leaders Bayern Munich, who clinched the title with a goalless draw in Wolfsburg Sunday, can celebrate before home fans Wednesday when Bielefeld are the visitors.

Hamburg and Stuttgart are both six points adrift of third-placed Bremen. If Bremen beat Hamburg, Schalke would be at least assured of going into the qualifying stage of the Champions League next season.

In Wednesday’s other games, Nuremberg entertain Duisburg in a meeting between two teams in the drop zone.

Bayer Leverkusen entertain Hertha Berlin, while Eintracht Frankfurt play visiting Wolfsburg in the day’s other game.

Related Stories

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

Posted in World |