Berlin, Apr 1: Filip Kostic's brace secured Eintracht Frankfurt a 3-0 win over Stuttgart and moved the Eagles into the top four at the close of the 27th round of matches in the Bundesliga on Sunday.
Both sides staged a lively opening period with chances at both ends of the pitch, as Sebastien Haller and Luka Jovic came close before Stuttgart's Marc-Oliver Kempf rattled the woodwork with six minutes played. As the match progressed, Frankfurt gained the upper hand as Stuttgart goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler twice had to deny Jovic and Sebastian Rode.
The host's efforts paid off just before the break when Jovic broke the deadlock after slotting home a rebound past Zieler in the 45th minute. After the restart, both sides exchanged attacks but Kostic and Alexander Esswein remained sloppy with their finishing in front of goal. Kostic did better several minutes later when the Serbia international benefitted from Ante Rebic's pass into path to score his second in the 64th minute.
That goal broke Stuttgart's resilience, whereas Frankfurt put the result beyond doubt in the closing stages as Jovic tapped home Danny da Costa's cross. With their third straight win, Eintracht Frankfurt climb into the top four to eye a place in the UEFA Champions League, while Stuttgart remain 16th and in the relegation play-off spot.
Elsewhere, relegation-threatened Hannover suffered their sixth loss in a row as Suat Serdar's sole goal of the game was enough to secure FC Schalke 04 a hard-earned 1-0 victory.
With the win, Schalke ended their six-game winless run and climbed to 14th in the standings. Meanwhile, Hannover remain rooted to the bottom after suffering their 19th defeat of the season. "What can I say? Our situation hasn't improved. We have once again missed a bit of luck. It was a courageous performance but once again without points. That's why we are all depressed," Hannover's head coach Thomas Doll said. (UNI-XINHUA)