Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Leverkusen reach the Champions League, Union beat Freiburg

BERLIN ( Associated Press) — Patrick Schick scored twice to shoot down Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League in a 4-2 win at Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

Union Berlin dented their Champions League hopes with a 4-1 win over Freiburg. Having already achieved their best Bundesliga season, the union secured at least one place in the Europa Conference League for the second consecutive season.

Sixth-placed Union, who were only promoted in 2019, have a two-point lead over Cologne for Europa League qualification. Cologne lost 1–0 to Wolfsburg at home.

In addition, second-placed Borussia Dortmund defeated already relegated Grüther Firth 3–1 in the final game with Stefan Leitel as Firth coach. Lytle, who led the team to promotion last season, is leaving after 3 years in charge.

Leverkusen were told to work hard for their result against Hoffenheim, hoping to keep their European qualification chances alive.

Schick scored twice in 26 league matches to take his season tally to 24. Leverkusen twice came in to finish third from behind, regardless of their final game against Freiburg next weekend.

In Germany the top four qualify for the Champions League.

Freiburg’s loss at home to Union gave Leipzig a chance to move to fourth place after surviving a loss at home to Augsburg on Sunday.

Freiburg, facing Leipzig in the German Cup final on 21 May, scored three goals in the first half for the union side.

Freiburg coach Christian Streich was booked for his furious reaction to an apparent violation, although it was not clear what it was.

Stritch’s team pushed hard after the break and duly pulled one back. But Union substitute Andras Schaefer sealed the result with a fine personal goal in the last minute.

Cologne made a fiery start against Wolfsburg, but failed to score and was dismissed before the break when Yannick Gerhardt eliminated a team move from the visitors.

Cologne fans stormed the pitch to celebrate a good season despite the loss. Lying on the field in despair, Cologne’s captain Jonas Hector quickly left.

Hertha Berlin were able to secure their survival with a home win at Mainz of late.


More Associated Press Soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports


Ciaran Fahey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cfaheyAP


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