Schalke draw at Hoffenheim; Hanover edge Moenchengladbach

April 23rd, 2012

Europe News

Berlin – Klaas-Jan Huntelaar equalized from the penalty spot as third-placed Schalke drew 1-1 at Hoffenheim Sunday while Hanover jumped to fifth after beating Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-1.

Sejad Salihovic converted a penalty for mid-table Hoffenheim on the half hour but Schalke grabbed a point when Huntelaar made sure from the spot with 10 minutes remaining to draw level on 23 goals for the season with Bayern Munich’s Mario Gomez.

Schalke stay third thanks to Moenchengladbach’s defeat at Hanover but are now six points behind second-placed Bayern Munich and nine adrift of leaders Borussia Dortmund.

Goals from Didier Ya Konan and Mame Diouf earlier gave Hanover victory over visiting Moenchengladbach to move them to fifth.

Ya Konan scored in the 57th minute when he got on the end of a mis-hit shot by Konstantin Raush, and Diouf headed a second in the 76th from a cross by Jan Schlaudraff before Havard Nordtveit replied with a solo effort two minutes later.

Moenchengladbach came close to an equalizer in stoppage time but Ron-Robert Zieler in goal saved in quick succession from Marco Reus and Filip Daems.

‘We started playing too late,’ Moenchengladbach coach Lucien Favre said.

‘Maybe at the moment we are not consistent enough. we have to give an extra five per cent and then it will be better.’

the victory leapfrogged Hanover over four teams to move onto 41 points and into a Europa League qualifying place.

Mirko Slomka’s side, who are battling for a place in this season’s Europa League semi-finals, are still 10 points behind Moenchengladbach, who have only won one of their last league games.

They move a point ahead of VfB Stuttgart, Bayer Leverkusen, who Sunday sacked coach Robin Dutt, Werder Bremen and Wolfsburg.

‘The first half was hard going and in the second half it went relatively well for us,’ Slomka said. ‘But we still have a lot of hard games ahead and it is all extremely tight.’

Schalke were chasing the game at Hoffenheim after Salihovic’s penalty following a foul by keeper Lars Unnerstall on Sven Schipplock, although television pictures showed the striker appeared to go down without any conclusive contact.

They came close to equalizing after the break when Jefferson Farfan had an effort brilliantly saved at close range by Tom Starke in goal, while from the resulting corner Jermaine Jones had a shot cleared off the line by Fabian Johnson.

Farfan then saw a shot come back off the bar before Chinedu Obasi fell just inside the area on the slightest of contact from Andreas Beck, and Huntelaar slotted home the penalty.

Hoffenheim coach Markus Babbel said the penalty for Schalke was ‘ridiculous,’ but admitted his own side’s penalty award was debatable.

‘I have to compliment my team but at the end we ran out of steam. we were more or less out on our feet,’ he said.

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Schalke draw at Hoffenheim; Hanover edge Moenchengladbach

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