(PhatzRadio/ CBC Sports) – St. Pauli faces Bundesliga relegation after losing 2-0 at Kaiserslautern on Friday, while Wolfsburg beat Werder Bremen 1-0 in another relegation battle.
Christian Tiffert and Mathias Abel scored for Kaiserslautern, which moved up to 11th in the standings and looks to have secured survival at the expense of bottom side St. Pauli.
With two games remaining, St. Pauli is six points from safety ahead of the rest of the weekend’s games.
“The possibility is still there, but you can hardly see it. Only a miracle helps us really,” St. Pauli’s sporting director Helmut Schulte acknowledged.
Sascha Riether scored for Wolfsburg in the 22nd minute, with an easy tap-in from close range.
Wolfsburg provisionally climbed out of the relegation zone to 14th, while Bremen dropped to 12th.
“That was a very important step, but we have to go on and win again next week,” Wolfsburg defender Arne Friedrich said.
Borussia Dortmund can clinch the title with a win over Nuremberg on Saturday, if second-place Bayer Leverkusen fails to win at Cologne.
Poor defending allowed Tiffert to score for Kaiserslautern in the 28th, when he beat Ralph Gunesch to head Leon Jessen’s cross past Benedikt Pliquett.
“It’s my wife’s birthday. The last time I scored it was my daughter’s birthday,” Tiffert said. “I have to have more children, so there’ll be more birthdays, so I can score more goals.”
Kaiserslautern keeper Kevin Trapp made vital saves in one-on-one situations with Gerald Asamoah and Max Kruse before the interval.
Abel scored against the run of the play in the 68th, when he rose highest to meet Tiffert’s corner.
St. Pauli coach Holger Stanislawski sent on Marius Ebbers and Deniz Naki in a desperate bid to score, but hopes of a miracle faded when Ebbers hooked the ball high and wide from close range with 10 minutes remaining.
“We fought hard and played good football. Anyone who says anything else is lying,” Stanislawski said. “Kaiserslautern scored at the right times and for that they deserve to win. It’s very bitter for us.”
It was St. Pauli’s 10th straight game without a win.
In Bremen, Diego returned to the ground where he played for three seasons, and the Wolfsburg midfielder threatened with a shot in the second minute.
Mario Mandzukic then hit the side netting, with Bremen restricted to free kick chances, before Riether gave Felix Magath’s side a deserved lead.
Riether’s probing cross almost led to another in the 34th, but neither Grafite nor Mandzukic could stretch to meet the ball.
Friedrich was lucky not to receive a second yellow card for a bad challenge on Claudio Pizarro minutes later
Pizarro flashed the ball to the right of the goal in the 62nd, and Marko Marin’s cross was too high minutes later.
Marin’s appeals for a penalty were waved away in injury time, when the Bremen winger fell easily under the challenge of Grafite.
“We weren’t in the game and didn’t apply any pressure,” Werder coach Thomas Schaaf said. “We were too weak up front today.”