Bundesliga: Mario Gomez at the double as Stuttgart go seven unbeaten | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 16.03.2018
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Bundesliga: Mario Gomez at the double as Stuttgart go seven unbeaten

A return to the international fold was celebrated in style as Stuttgart grabbed another three points on the road. The win lifts them to eighth in the table and an outside shot at European qualification.

Freiburg 1-2 Stuttgart, Schwarzwald-Stadion
(Petersen 53' — Gomez 4', 75')

Never mind a return to the national squad, on this evidence, Gomez will have given Germany coach Jogi Löw plenty to chew as he considers his starting XI to face Spain next Friday night.

The veteran striker staked his claim with a brace that gave Stuttgart a sixth win in their last seven league games, lifting the club into European contention. It also showed why he remains one of the best around when it comes to giving himself that crucial yard of space in the penalty area. 

His first goal arrived in only the fourth minute of a boisterous encounter, which often lacked quality but rarely lacked passion. Gomez drifted into space to meet Dennis Aogo's inswinging freekick to give the visitors a flying start.

He should have doubled his side's lead in the 13th minute. A poorly placed Robin Koch backpass sent the 32-year old clean through, but he failed to make decent contact. 

It looked as if he might live to regret it, too, after another experienced German striker leveled the contest with a moment of brilliance. Nils Petersen has genuine cause to feel aggrieved at not being called-up for Germany's pre-World Cup friendlies. He is, after all, the highest scoring German in the Bundesliga this season, and his goal here was disptached with sublime efficiency.

Fußball SC Freiburg - VfB Stuttgart Petersen (picture-alliance/Pressefoto Rudel)

Nils Petersen draws Freiburg level with a divine chipped effort

After racing onto Nicolas Höfler's through-ball, the Freiburg captain took a touch away from a chasing defender and lifted the ball deftly over the oustretched fingertips of Ron-Robert Zieler. It was his 13th league goal of the campaign.

But it was Gomez, and Stuttgart, who would have the last laugh. When Andreas Beck's searching cross in the 75th minute found the former Bayern man, the outcome was inevitable. His initial header was straight at Alexander Schwolow, but ricocheted straight back to him for the simplest of winners.

Stuttgart find themselves just three points off Europa League qualification, with seven games still to play. An already dramatic battle for European places just found a new contender.