Huntelaar spares Schalke's blushes at Augsburg

22 April 2012 04:47

Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar brushed off his training pitch bust up with team-mate Jermaine Jones to save Schalke 04's blushes on Sunday in their 1-1 draw at Augsburg in the German league.

The German title was decided on Saturday when Borussia Dortmund were confirmed as champions for the eighth time in their history with a 2-0 win at home to Moenchengladbach.

But while Dortmund will finish top with Bayern Munich second, third place, and an automatic Champions League place, is still to be decided between fourth-placed Gladbach and Schalke, who have a two-point lead in third.

Huntelaar's 38th-minute strike cancelled out Augsburg's opener after just six minutes from defender Sebastian Langkamp and was the Dutchman's 25th of the season to make him joint leading goal-scorer alongside Bayern's Mario Gomez.

Augsburg remain 15th in the table, four points away from the relegation zone with two games left.

Pictures of Huntelaar and Jones trading blows in training on Saturday were published in German daily Bild on Sunday.

After Bayern Munich were reported to have fined French star Franck Ribery 50,000 euros ($66,000) for an alleged dressing room bust-up with team-mate Arjen Robben, the Schalke stars had to be restrained by team-mates.

On Saturday, Dortmund clinched a second successive Bundesliga title as Japan star Shinji Kagawa's second-half goal helped beat Gladbach.

Kagawa's 59th-minute strike put the result beyond doubt after attacking midfelder Ivan Perisic's first-half header had put the hosts ahead at their sold-out Signal Iduna Park stadium in front of 80,720 fans.

The victory leaves Dortmund eight points clear of second-placed Bayern Munich with just two games left.

This is the eighth time that Dortmund have won the German league and the fifth time they have won the Bundesliga title since it was founded in 1963.

Victory also extended their record for the German league's longest unbeaten run in a single season to 26 matches.

There was more good news for Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp as teenage star Mario Goetze came off the bench.

It was the 19-year-old's first appearance since December, as he had been out with a groin injury.

Earlier, France star Ribery hit a 90th-minute winner as Bayern poached a 2-1 win at Werder Bremen to briefly delay Dortmund's title celebrations.

With Bayern due to visit Real Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final on Wednesday with a 2-1 lead, coach Jupp Heynckes decided to rest a host of stars.

Bayer Leverkusen remained on course for a Europa League place thanks to a 1-0 win over Hoffenheim, with Germany midfielder Andre Schuerrle hitting a late winner.

Former Germany captain Michael Ballack made a rare appearance from the bench.

At the other end of the table, Kaiserslautern had their relegation confirmed even though they managed a 2-1 win at Hertha Berlin.

Berlin look set to join Kaiserslautern in the second division next season and are locked in a battle with Cologne for 16th place in the league, which gives the chance of survival via a relegation play-off at the season's end.

The side finishing third from bottom faces the third-best team in the second division in a two-legged play-off.

Cologne were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Stuttgart, while Hamburg look to have avoided relegation after their 1-1 draw at Nuremberg.

Source: AFP

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