Meier fires Frankfurt 3rd in Bundesliga with win at Schalke
BERLIN: Alexander Meier fired Eintracht Frankfurt to third place with a 1-0 win at Schalke to begin the second half of the Bundesliga on Friday.
The home side came closest midway through the first half when Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting whipped in a cross that Guido Burgstaller did well to reach, only to see his header brilliantly saved by backup goalkeeper Heinz Lindner.
Frankfurt No. 1 Lukas Hradecky was serving a ban following his red card in the previous weekend's loss to Leipzig.
Meier struck in the 33rd, pealing away from Naldo, his marker, to reach Makoto Hasebe's clever free kick and send the ball inside the right post. Meier was helped in part by David Abraham's outstretched arm hindering Naldo's attempt to follow.
"For me it's a clear foul. The referee saw it but judged it differently," Schalke captain Benedikt Hoewedes said.
Frankfurt coach Niko Kovac acknowledged that his side "had a bit of luck today."
Neither side was able to create clear-cut chances as the game stagnated in midfield. There were whistles from frustrated home fans at the break.
Burgstaller again went close early in the second half, but Hans Seferovic might have made it 2-0 Frankfurt after Leon Goretzka lost the ball, before Meier went close again.
Neither side threatened thereafter, leading to more whistles from the remaining fans at full time.
League leader Bayern Munich and second-placed Leipzig play Werder Bremen and Hoffenheim respectively on Saturday.