Freiburg are closing in on their first appearance in the Europa League since 2013/14 after a convincingwin over Schalke. Meanwhile, Hamburg and Mainz remain mired in the relegation battle after a lifeless goalless draw.Hamburg 0-0 Mainz
Mainz were unable to put their chances away in a drab goalless draw at fellow strugglers Hamburg.
In what was a much-anticipated clash of the relegation candidates, the game was a huge disappointment, with neither side risking much as they aimed to avoid defeat.
Mainz had the best chances, with Jhon Cordoba going close in the sixth minute, but he was denied by a double save from Christian Mathenia, who then denied Yoshinori Muto.
Cordoba was Mainz’s most likely source of a goal as he had another decent effort stopped by Mathenia, who was definitely the busier of the two keepers as he continues to deputize for the injured Rene Adler.
The game became a little stretched as fulltime approached, but Mathenia kept out a goalbound effort by Jairo Sampeiro.
The point keeps both side tied on 34 points, with Mainz just ahead of Hamburg by virtue of their superior goal difference. Both teams are two points behind Wolfsburg, who travel to Hamburg on the final day of the season.
Freiburg 2-0 Schalke
(Niederlechner 21′, 31′ pen)
Freiburg are up to a season-high fifth in the Bundesliga courtesy of a Florian Niederlechner brace against Schalke.
The home side opened the scoring midway through the first half when Niederlechner took advantage as Schalke’s defenders claimed offside, and the striker found the far corner past Ralf Fährmann
Niederlechner notczhed his second only eight minutes later from the penalty spot, calmly sending Fährmann the wrong way after Sead Kolasinac was adjudged to have fouled Maximilian Philipp.
Petersen would have added a third when he came off the bench, but it mattered little as Freiburg ran out convincing winners against a below par Schalke, who remain 10th. Freiburg leapfrog Hertha Berlin, Cologne and Werder Bremen as they close in on qualification for the Europa League.
As it happened: