Hamburger SV keeps alive survival hopes in Bundesliga

Hamburger SV keeps alive survival hopes in Bundesliga
Hamburg's Lewis Holtby, front, and teammate Aaron Hunt celebrate the opening goal during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Hamburger SV and SC Freiburg, in Hamburg, Germany, Saturday, April 21, 2018. (Axel Heimken/dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — Lewis Holtby kept alive Hamburger SV’s hopes of a Bundesliga survival by edging fellow relegation candidate Freiburg 1-0 on Saturday.

Holtby stopped the ricocheting ball and eluded two defenders before firing it past Alexander Schwolow early in the second half.

Freiburg’s Caglar Soyuncu was sent off with 20 minutes remaining.

With three games remaining, Hamburg was within five points of safety. Hamburg, which has had several near misses in recent seasons, is the only side to have played every season since the Bundesliga’s formation in 1963.

BAYERN READY FOR REAL

League champion Bayern Munich warmed up for Real Madrid’s visit with a comfortable 3-0 win in Hannover.

Substitutes Thomas Mueller and Robert Lewandowski scored in the second half, with the latter taking his league-leading tally to 28. Sebastian Rudy completed the scoring late.

With one eye on Wednesday’s Champions League semifinal first leg, Jupp Heynckes rotated his squad and handed a Bundesliga debut to Lars Lukas, an 18-year-old defender.

Mats Hummels, Javi Martinez, Joshua Kimmich, Franck Ribery, Mueller and Lewandowski all started on the bench, while David Alaba was left out of the squad.

HOFFENHEIM HOPE

Leipzig’s hopes of Champions League football suffered a blow after being routed at home by Hoffenheim 5-2.

Hoffenheim moved two points above Leipzig and within two of Borussia Dortmund, which occupies the last qualification place for the Champions League.

Dortmund was hosting Bayer Leverkusen later.

STUTTGART SAFE

Stuttgart defeated Werder Bremen 2-0 at home to make sure it can’t be demoted. Tayfun Korkut’s side is 12 points clear with three games to play.

Also, Hertha Berlin won 3-0 at Eintracht Frankfurt, for which Makoto Hasebe was sent off for striking Davie Selke in the face.

Selke had earlier fallen theatrically under Hasebe’s challenge to earn a penalty. Referee Sascha Stegemann stuck with his initial decision despite consulting video replays, and Selke’s spot kick broke the deadlock.