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Eyes on the prize: Bundesliga 2 leaders St. Pauli ended Matchday 26 10 points clear of the promotion play-off spot. - © IMAGO/Sportfoto Zink / Daniel Marr
Eyes on the prize: Bundesliga 2 leaders St. Pauli ended Matchday 26 10 points clear of the promotion play-off spot. - © IMAGO/Sportfoto Zink / Daniel Marr
2. Bundesliga

Bundesliga 2, Matchday 26 highlights: Top three St. Pauli, Holstein Kiel and HSV win, Hertha Berlin thrash Schalke


St. Pauli and Holstein Kiel consolidated their top-two standing, before promotion rivals Hamburg beat Wehen Wiesbaden. Elsewhere on Matchday 26, Hertha Berlin hammered Schalke...

Nuremberg 0-2 St. Pauli
Goals: 0-1
Eggestein (44'), 0-2 Hartel (62')

St. Pauli's promotion push continued apace as the leaders secured their fourth win in five at Nuremberg. Having controlled the first half for long periods, the Kiezkicker took the lead almost on the stroke of half-time when Johannes Eggestein headed in his first goal since November. The visitors continued their dominance in the second period and the goalscorer laid the ball across for Marcel Hartel to seal the away win. St. Pauli ensured they will remain 10 points clear of third place ahead of the March international break, leaving them well on course for securing top-flight football. 

Elversberg 0-2 Holstein Kiel
Goals: 0-1 
Machino (39'), 0-2 Sander (49')

Kiel took an important away win at mid-table Elversberg that cemented second spot. The hosts sat back and posed a real threat on the break in the opening stages, while Kiel controlled possession. Eventually the promotion chasers' pressure told when Nicolai Remberg played a superb ball through for Shuto Machino, who finished tidily from the edge of the area. While Elversberg tried to hit back, a deflected Philipp Sander shot from a corner gave Kiel a two-goal advantage that there was no coming back from.

Hamburg 3-0 Wehen Wiesbaden
Goals: 1-0 Muheim (33'), 2-0 Benes (51'), 3-0 Königsdörffer (85') 

Hamburg secured a vital win in their chase for automatic promotion thanks a dominant display at the Volksparkstadion. After a plethora of first-half chances, the hosts finally hit the front in 33rd minute with Miro Muheim's deflected strike. Laszlo Benes's clever free-kick after the break doubled HSV's lead and the Dinos - who hit the woodwork three times in this game - were home free when Ransford-Yeboah Königsdörffer netted with five minutes to play. Hamburg remain third, five points behind Kiel.

Hertha Berlin 5-2 Schalke
Goals: 1-0 Tabaković (2'), 1-1 Terodde (5'), 2-1 Tabaković (13'), 2-2 Terodde (27'), 3-2 Winkler (39'), 4-2 Winkler (56'), 5-2 Niederlechner (75') 

Hertha ended a run of three games without a win while piling more misery on lowly Schalke following a dramatic encounter in the German capital. Haris Tabaković and Simon Terodde twice exchanged goals in a ding-dong battle in the opening half hour. Marten Winkler then tilted the game in Hertha's favour, before the 21-year-old brought up his brace to put daylight between the teams after the restart. Veteran forward Florian Niederlechner made sure of the points to send Hertha ninth. Schalke, meanwhile, are far from being out of danger down in 14th.

Karlsruhe 7-0 Magdeburg
Goals: 1-0 
Franke (8'), 2-0 Zivzivadze (13'), 3-0 Zivzivadze (25'), 4-0 Nebel (40'), 5-0 Beifus (50'), 6-0 Matanovic (51'), 7-0 Wanitzek (pen. 90'+2) 

Karlsruhe issued a statement of intent that their hopes of gaining promotion this season are still very much alive. Despite going down to Kiel last weekend, Christian Eichner's side bounced back for a third time in four games and in some style at the BBBank Wildpark. Marcel Franke got the party started as Karlsruhe equalled their biggest-ever home win. Budu Zivzivadze's double then had the hosts 3-0 up, before Paul Nebel's goal had them out of sight at the break. Marcel Beifus and Igor Matanovic netted after the restart, before Marvin Wanitzek completed Magdeburg's misery from the penalty spot.

Hannover 1-1 Kaiserslautern
Goals: 0-1 Kenny Redondo (53'), 1-1 Andreas Voglsammer (68')

Kaiserslautern came locked in a survival battle and made a bright start, only for Hannover to take control. Nicolò Tresoldi put the ball into the net for Hannover in the first half, but an offside flag ruled the effort out. Kenny Redondo then gave Kaiserslautern the lead against the run of play in the second period after he seized on an intelligent pass from Tobias Raschl. Andreas Voglsammer restored parity 15 minutes later, however, when turning in from Sebastian Ernst's cross. Although Hannover pushed for a winner, Kaiserslautern came closest to a second goal with Raschl hitting the woodwork in stoppage time.

Paderborn 1-2 Eintracht Braunschweig
Goals: 0-1 Kurucay (59'), 1-1 Adriano Grimaldi (61'), 1-2 Philippe (80')

Eintracht Braunschweig boosted their survival hopes by grabbing a late winner against a Paderborn side chasing promotion. The Lions began boldly, defying their position near the foot of the table by producing an assured display and frustrating their hosts in defence. They took the lead in the second half when Hasan Kurucay converted from the penalty spot following a handball, only for Adriano Grimaldi to equalise two minutes later after a poor defensive back-pass. However, Braunschweig grabbed a morale-boosting win late on through Rayan Philippe as they bid to maintain their Bundesliga 2 status. 

Osnabrück 0-4 Fortuna Düsseldorf
Goals: 0-1 Tzolis (35'), 0-2 Uchino (60'), 0-3 Mustapha (72'), 0-4 Tanaka (88')

In-form Fortuna Düsseldorf maintained their promotion push by extending their unbeaten streak to six games with a comfortable victory at bottom club Osnabrück. It did not initially look like panning out that way, however, with the hosts dominating the tackles and possession, albeit without threatening in the final third. Christos Tzolis burst their bubble by showing them how to do it on 35 minutes with a fine finish from a tight angle, and there was only ever one outcome after that. Second-half goals from Takashi Uchino, Marlon Mustapha and Ao Tanaka sealed the points for Düsseldorf to keep them within touching distance of the top three. 

Hansa Rostock 1-0 Greuther Fürth
Goal: 1-0 
Neidhart (40')

Hansa Rostock gave their survival hopes a boost with victory over Greuther Fürth. A determined showing from the hosts saw them create several first-half opportunities. After Svante Ingelsson and Kevin Schumacher had gone close, Ingelsson turned the ball on to Nico Neidhart to tap in the decisive goal. Hansa stay in the relegation play-off spot, albeit only a point adrift of outright safety. On a three-game losing run, Fürth slip to eighth.

Watch: The top 5 goals from Matchday 26

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