Football: Double punch sends Leverkusen into third place

Leverkusen's Vladlen Yurchenko (right) and Frankfurt's Luc Castaignos (l) in action during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Bayer Leverkusen and Eintracht Frankfurt at BayArena in Leverkusen, Germany, on April 16, 2016.
Leverkusen's Vladlen Yurchenko (right) and Frankfurt's Luc Castaignos (l) in action during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Bayer Leverkusen and Eintracht Frankfurt at BayArena in Leverkusen, Germany, on April 16, 2016. PHOTO: EPA

BERLIN (Reuters) - Bayer Leverkusen struck twice in five minutes to beat struggling Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0 on Saturday (April 16) and move into the third place that offers Champions League qualification, with four games left in the campaign.

Slovenian midfielder Kevin Kampl struck with a fine volley less than a minute after coming on in the 70th minute, replacing striker Javier Hernandez.

Teenager Julian Brandt then slotted in for his seventh goal of the campaign five minutes later and Karim Bellarabi added a third in the last minute to lift Leverkusen to 51 points, two ahead of Hertha Berlin.

Hertha lost 2-1 at Hoffenheim, courtesy of Mark Uth's 85th minute winner, and have now failed to win any of their last three matches.

They had taken the lead through Niklas Stark in the 26th minute but their joy was short-lived with Fabian Schaer levelling only seven minutes later. Uth then headed in a corner to leave Hertha's Champions League hopes in doubt.

VfL Wolfsburg slumped to a 3-2 loss at struggling Werder Bremen and will most likely have to forget about Champions League action next season, stuck in eighth place on 39.

Last season's runners-up and German Cup winners, who were eliminated in the Champions League last eight by Real Madrid on Tuesday, managed to cut the deficit with Bas Dost in the 86th but could not find an equaliser.

Werder's crucial win lifted them to 31 but they remained in the relegation playoff spot.

Leaders Bayern Munich, on 75 points, take on Schalke 04 later on Saturday. Second-placed Borussia Dortmund, seven points behind, entertain Hamburg SV on Sunday.