- Associated Press - Friday, December 18, 2015

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) - Hoffenheim will spend the Christmas break in the Bundesliga relegation zone after losing 1-0 at Schalke on Friday.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting scored for Schalke in the 28th minute as the match kicked off the German league’s last round before the month-long winter break. Hoffenheim wasted several good opportunities in the second half after being dominated in the first.

The return of coach Huub Stevens to one of his former clubs was not a happy one. Since taking over in Hoffenheim, Stevens has only one win in seven matches.

The win improved Schalke’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League next season. It is provisionally fourth.

Choupo-Moting connected with a long cross from Johannes Geis after barely beating Pavel Kaderabek to the ball to knock it into the net.

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