Freiburg close in on European spot
BERLIN: Freiburg are on course for the Europa League next season after striker Florian Niederlechner netted twice in Sunday’s 2-0 home win against Schalke to go fifth in the Bundesliga.
Christian Streich’s Freiburg, last season’s second division champions, are having a stellar first season back in Germany’s top flight.
They are in pole position for a Europa League place but rivals Hertha Berlin, Cologne and Werder Bremen are all within two points with two games remaining.
Freiburg’s march to Europe is echoed by second-placed RB Leipzig, who were also promoted last season, yet secured a direct Champions League berth for next season with a 4-1 win at Hertha Berlin on Saturday.
Earlier, relegation-threatened Hamburg and Mainz both boosted their Bundesliga survival chances by earning a point apiece in a goalless draw.
Mainz had the best chances to take the three points in Hamburg as Spanish midfielder Jairo Samperio came off the bench and twice went close late on.
The result leaves both clubs on 34 points, with Hamburg in the relegation playoff place due to their inferior goal difference. AFP