Monday, July 24, 2017

Bundesliga Review: Weinzerl deal buoys Augsburg prior to Schalke stalemate

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 5 Apr 2015

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Augsburg were boosted by the news of a fresh contract for coach Markus Weinzerl prior to Sunday’s goalless draw with Schalke at the SGL Arena.

Ahead of a low-key stalemate between two sides hopeful of securing European football, Weinzerl agreed a new deal until 2019 while sporting director Stefan Reuter also penned fresh terms.

The sides are Bayer Leverkusen’s closest challengers for the final UEFA Champions League spot, with Roger Schmidt’s side enjoying a nine-point cushion after hammering Hamburg on Saturday.

That was closed to eight after Sunday’s draw but both sides missed chances to claim maximum points.

Raul Bobadilla went close late on with a free-kick for the hosts while Klaas-Jan Huntelaar had Schalke’s best chance as he shot straight at Marwin Hitz when through on goal.

Roberto Di Matteo was left to sweat over midfielder Leon Goretzka, who was withdrawn with a thigh problem, with both sides left with work to do to ensure their top-six spots after seeing hopes of reeling in Leverkusen diminished.

At the bottom, goals from Valentin Stocker and Nico Schulz ensured Hertha Berlin a 2-0 win over Paderborn in the capital.

Stocker made the most of a goalmouth scramble to register his first Bundesliga goal with 22 minutes remaining before Schulz added a second to keep the visitors firmly entrenched in the relegation mire, while Hertha moved seven points clear of the bottom three.

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