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Freiburg wins, leaves Augsburg stuck in Bundesliga play-off

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The Canadian Press
5/5/2013 1:52:43 PM
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BERLIN -- Freiburg defeated Augsburg 2-0 in the Bundesliga on Sunday to consolidate the last Europa League place and leave the visitors stuck in the relegation playoff spot.

"It will stay exciting to the last day of the season," Augsburg coach Markus Weinzierl said.

Cedrick Makiadi scored on the rebound in the 31st minute after Augsburg goalkeeper Alexander Manninger saved Jonathan Schmid's initial effort.

Only Oliver Baumann's acrobatic save at the other end prevented Andre Hahn providing an immediate response.

But Schmid secured the win with a cool finish past Manninger in the 61st after a good combination with Max Kruse.

"When one team plays so well and the other team wins, then that's hard," said Freiburg coach Christian Streich, who consoled some of the Augsburg players after the final whistle.

The visitors had made the better start, with Baumann blocking Sascha Moelders' effort and getting his left boot to Hahn's shot in the 12th.

With two rounds remaining, Freiburg is one point off fifth-place Eintracht Frankfurt, while Augsburg is level on points with Fortuna Duesseldorf, two points ahead of Hoffenheim in a direct relegation spot.

Hamburger SV missed the chance to close within a point of Freiburg later Sunday after being held to a scrappy 1-1 draw by Wolfsburg -- a result that suits neither side.

"We have to win twice and hope that the others don't win," said Hamburg midfielder Rafael van der Vaart. "But we talk every week about the Europa League. We just have to win games."

Hamburg seized the lead just before the interval, when Heiko Westermann headed Rafael van der Vaart's free kick past Diego Benaglio.

Dennis Diekmeier should have made it 2-0 after the break when he fired over from a promising position.

Japan's Makoto Hasebe made the home side pay when he equalized with a diving header to Ivan Perisic's cross in the 65th.

Wolfsburg striker Bas Dost had three good chances to score the winning goal, but was thwarted by Hamburg 'keeper Jaroslav Drobny on each occasion. Drobny was only playing due to regular No. 1 Rene Adler's suspension.

"We were better in the second half, managed to create one or two chances, but you have to give credit to Jaroslav," Benaglio said.

The Wolfsburg goalkeeper denied Son Heung-min a late winner for Hamburg in injury time to preserve his side's eight-game unbeaten run.

Hamburg remained three points behind Frankfurt, while Wolfsburg was four further back, ending hopes of European football next season.

"We didn't miss out on Europe today," said Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking, referring to his side's patchy form during the season.

His Hamburg counterpart, Thorsten Fink, acknowledged he still had work to do to meet expected standards.

"I think we're on the right path to stabilize ourselves, but we're not ripe enough this year for the Europa League," Fink said.

Soccer (Photo: Mark Keppler/Bongarts/Getty Images))

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(Photo: Mark Keppler/Bongarts/Getty Images))
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