Bundesliga

Augsburg ensure safety with Schalke draw

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's late strike looked to be enough to deliver victory for FC Schalke 04, but Daniel Baier's equaliser seven minutes later ensured a 1-1 draw, and a sixth consecutive top-flight season for FC Augsburg.

FC Schalke 04 1-1 FC Augsburg

Goals: 1-0 Huntelaar (82'), 1-1 Baier (89')

With potential UEFA Champions League qualification and Bundesliga survival at stake respectively for Schalke and Augsburg, the sides made a tepid start at the VELTINS Arena. The best chance in the opening 15 minutes fell to Sead Kolasinac, but his deflected shot nestled safely into the hands of Marwin Hitz. Schalke's superior first-half possession spoke to the fact that they began the day six places and nine points better off than Die Fuggerstädter, but they struggled to break Markus Weinzierl's men down. Joel Matip and Max Meyer saw close-range shots collected by Hitz before Huntelaar hit the near post with a curling free-kick. The visitors nearly scored against the run of play just before the break, but Alfred Finnbogason headed over from metres out and the teams went in at the interval all square at 0-0.

Augsburg started the second half brightly, and Raul Bobadilla - who had entered the fray after half an hour for the injured Ja-Cheol Koo - fizzed a low shot narrowly wide seconds after referee Christian Dingert had restarted play. At the other end Huntelaar wriggled free in the box, but his shot deflected over for a corner. Junior Caicara replaced Benedickt Höwedes for the final 20 minutes and wasted little time in making an impact. The Brazilian bombed forward before sending the ball into the Augsburg box, and Huntelaar instinctively stuck out a leg to score his 11th goal of the campaign. Augsburg had the final say, though, with Baier finding space on the edge of the box and firing home to seal a 1-1 draw.