Schalke salvages 2-2 draw at Mainz in Bundesliga
BERLIN (AP) -Michel Bastos scored twice to salvage a 2-2 draw for Schalke at Mainz in the Bundesliga on Saturday, offering embattled coach Jens Keller some respite before Wednesday's Champions League game at Galatasaray.
Mainz, which knocked Schalke out of the German Cup in Keller's first game last December, opened the scoring through Andreas Ivanschitz in the 27th minute, when Nicolai Mueller eluded three defenders on the right to set him up.
Bastos equalized with a simple tap-in from fellow winter signing Raffael's cross in the 41st.
Mainz defender Zdenek Pospech shot inside the far post in the 63rd, only for Bastos to do likewise to equalize again with eight minutes remaining. It was the Brazilian's third goal in as many games since joining on loan from Lyon.
Schalke, which has only one win from 14 games across all competitions, started without the injured Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Atsuto Uchida, Lars Unnerstall, Ibrahim Afellay, Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Ciprian Marica and Christoph Moritz.
Keller, who took over after Huub Stevens was dismissed following a string of indifferent results, spoke before the game of "a curse'' affecting his side.
Elsewhere, Bayer Leverkusen beat Augsburg 2-1, Freiburg held on for a 3-2 win at Werder Bremen, Rafael van der Vaart struck to give Hamburger SV a 1-0 win at home over Borussia Moenchengladbach, and Fortuna Duesseldorf beat bottom side Greuther Fuerth 1-0.
Borussia Dortmund was hosting fourth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt late Saturday. A win for the defending champion would still leave Bayern Munich 15 points clear.
Leverkusen was provisionally second after Stefan Kiessling scored his 15th goal of the season with a header from Gonzalo Castro's free kick in the 26th, and then set up Lars Bender to kill off Augsburg's spirited resistance with 15 minutes remaining.
Sascha Moelders scored a last-minute consolation for the relegation-threatened visitors.
Hamburg followed last week's win over Dortmund by moving to sixth, thanks to Van der Vaart's spectacular 25-meter (yard) strike in the 24th against a Moenchengladbach side possibly feeling the effects from Thursday's 3-3 Europa League draw at Lazio.
In Bremen, Max Kruse scored for Freiburg with a fine strike in the 36th, only for Kevin de Bruyne to set up Nils Petersen three minutes later.
Bremen's Aleksandar Ignjovski brought down Daniel Caligiuri in the 53rd, and the midfielder dusted himself off to maintain his 100 percent record from the spot with his sixth successful Bundesliga penalty.
Petersen equalized again in the 65th when defender Mattias Ginter slipped at the crucial moment, but Ginter atoned by scoring the winner in the 71st - after both sides hit the post.
An 18th-minute goal from Axel Bellinghausen was enough for Duesseldorf, which missed an early penalty through Dani Schahin.
Fuerth's Hungarian winter signing Joszef Varga was sent off with a second yellow card in the 38th.
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