Schalke clinches Champions League spot
Freiburg, Germany (SportsNetwork.com) - Schalke secured its place in next season's Champions League on Saturday with a 2-0 win at Freiburg through goals from Kaan Ayhan and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.
Ayhan scored his first Bundesliga goal after 13 minutes with a shot that beat Freiburg goalkeeper Oliver Baumann and found the net after crashing off the post.
Huntelaar nearly added to the lead before the break when he volleyed a shot off the crossbar, but the Dutchman was able to find the net in the 65th minute with a shot from long range that took a deflection on its way past Baumann.
The only negative for the visitors on Saturday was defender Felipe Santana picking up two yellow cards in the span of five minutes to rule him out of the team's final match of the season.
Bayer Leverkusen also took a step toward locking up a top-four spot with a 2-0 win at Eintracht that saw Gonzalo Castro and Emre Can score first-half goals.
The result keeps Leverkusen one point clear of fifth-place Wolfsburg in the race for the final Champions League spot as Wolfsburg needed a stoppage-time goal from Ivica Olic to notch a 2-1 win at Stuttgart on Saturday to help his side keep pace.
Despite the loss, Stuttgart was able to secure safety for next season based on the results of the other three relegation-battling sides.
Hamburg remains in 16th place despite losing 4-1 to Bayern Munich, which got two goals from Mario Gotze, while Nurnberg is still one point back of Hamburg for the relegation playoff spot after a 2-0 home defeat to Hannover behind goals from Szabolcs Huszti and Manuel Schmiedebach.
Braunschweig nearly climbed off the bottom of the league, but the club allowed a stoppage-time goal to Augsburg's Raul Bobadilla in a 1-0 defeat.
Also on Saturday, second-place Borussia Dortmund downed Hoffenheim, 3-2, Monchengladbach topped Mainz, 3-1, and Aaron Hunt scored two goals in the second half to help Werder Bremen to a 2-0 win over Hertha Berlin.
05/03 12:49:47 ET