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Schalke go second, seal Champions League berth

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 6 May 2008

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A goal by Germany striker Gerald Asamoah launched Schalke 04's 3-0 win over VfL Bochum on Tuesday to put the Royal Blues second in the Bundesliga and seal their Champions League berth next season.

Bayern Munich, who play strugglers Arminia Bielefeld on Wednesday, were confirmed as German League champions on Sunday, but with two games left Schalke will now definitely finish in the league's top three.

Asamoah's 34th minute header put Schalke in the lead before Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic put the result beyond doubt when he netted on 67 minutes and captain Marcelo Bordon added a late third with a header.

But rivals Werder Bremen have the chance to regain second in the league when they take on Hamburg in the north Germany derby on Wednesday night.

Hanover 96 keep alive their slim dream of a top five finish which will give them a place in Europe next season with a 3-0 win over Hansa Rostock on Tuesday.

Two second-half goals by midfielder Jan Rosenthal sealed the win which put Hansa Rostock bottom of the table and all but relegated after just one season in the Bundesliga.

Hansa are now five points away from safety and have just two more games to claw their way out of trouble.

VfB Stuttgart's chances of a Champions League place next season are all but over after their 3-2 defeat at Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday after Switzerland striker Alexander Frei hit two second-half goals.

With just two games left, the 2007 Bundesliga champions are six points off a Champions League berth.

Germany striker Mario Gomez – set to be one of the stars of next month's Euro 2008 – grabbed two second-half goals for Stuttgart, but it was not enough to prevent Dortmund taking the three points.

Frei put his side ahead on 59 minutes with a direct free-kick and then made the result safe by slotting home a cross from on 78 minutes which proved to be the winner.

Energie Cottbus picked up a valuable point with their 1-1 draw against Karlsruhe to leave them four points clear of the relegation zone.

Also on Wednesday night, Bayer Leverkusen who are just outside the top five and are desperately chasing a place in Europe next season host Hertha Berlin.

And mid-table sides Eintracht Frankfurt and VfL Wolfsburg will battle it out.

There is also a relegation battle royal with bottom three sides Nuremberg and Duisburg both in desperate need of points.

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