Werder Bremen and Schalke 04 qualify for Champions League

May 8th, 2008 - 12:56 pm ICT by admin  

Hamburg, May 8 (DPA) Werder Bremen and Schalke 04 qualified for next season’s Champions League as Bremen won their Bundesliga game 1-0 at fourth-placed SV Hamburg. The result sees Schalke, who won 3-0 at VfL Bochum Tuesday and Bremen after the win Wednesday join champions Bayern Munich in the Champions League as they can no longer finish below third.

The northern derby in Hamburg Wednesday turned into a scrappy affair midway through the first half as both sides started using niggly fouls in an attempt to gain an advantage.

Werder Bremen goalkeeper Tim Wiese was lucky to escape with a yellow card after a full-flight kick to the head of Ivica Olic in the first half.

The goalkeeper said that he was glad that Olic had not been injured. “I went out to get the ball and I got it. Of course it looked bad, but I do not think it warranted a red card. I am just glad and that is really the main thing.”

Hugo Almeida scored the only goal of the game in the 50th minute with a shot from outside the area.

The visitors were down to ten men on the hour after captain Frank Baumann received his second yellow card of the match.

Hamburg then threw caution to the wind as they brought on Juan Pablo Sorin and Timothee Atouba, but Bremen managed to hold on to a victory that sees them qualify for the Champions League in second or third place.

Bremen substitute Jurica Vranjes joined his captain for an early shower in the last minute after putting his hand in the face of Atouba.

Bremen have 60 points, two more than Schalke 04. Hamburg are fourth on 51 points, but with two games remaining can no longer overtake Schalke or Bremen.

Hamburg goalkeeper Frank Rost said he was not surprised that there were so many yellow cards. “This was a northern derby and they are always tough. But I do not think that we need to speak too much about cards and such like. After the game you shake hands and then you are friends again.”

He added that his side did not deserve to lose. “We lost because we did not score any goals. If you have chances, then you have to score. They were the luckier side.”

Bayer Leverkusen suffered a set-back in their attempts to qualify for a place in Europe, as they slumped to a 2-1 defeat at home against Hertha Berlin. The home side also had German international striker Stefan Kiessling sent off midway through the second half.

The defeat sees them in sixth place in the table - outside direct qualification for a UEFA place - on 48 points.

VfL Wolfsburg, who won 3-2 at Eintracht Frankfurt, are also on 48 points.

In Munich the home side went ahead from a break after Bielefeld’s Jonas Kamper hit the Bayern post in the 25th minute. The ball came to Italian striker Luca Toni, who passed to Franck Ribery and his shot went through the legs of Bielefeld’s South African goalkeeper Rowan Fernandez.

The champions added a second two minutes after the restart through Lukas Podolski, whose long range effort gave Fernandez no chance.

Nuremberg moved to within a point of Bielefeld in 15th place with a 2-0 victory at home against fellow strugglers MSV Duisburg. Greek striker Angelos Charisteas scored the opener for the home side in the 9th minute, before Javier Pinola added a second on the half hour.

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