BERLIN -- Schalke defeated Hannover 2-0 to maintain its perfect start to the year and consolidate fourth place in the Bundesliga on Sunday. Jefferson Farfan opened the scoring in the 39th, converting from close range after Sead Kolasinac outran Hannover defender Marcelo on the left. Farfan instigated Schalkes second goal five minutes later, playing through a brilliant ball for Atsuto Uchida, who cut back for Klaas Jan Huntelaar and he in turn left it for the better positioned Max Meyer to stroke home. Huntelaar headed over early in the second half and Meyer drew a good stop from Hannover keeper Ron-Robert Zieler as the home side came closest to adding to the scoreline. "I think we played very well," Meyer said. "Thats three wins from three since the winter break. I think the training camp together did us well. It brought us closer together as a team." Schalke opened a four-point gap over Borussia Moenchengladbach to consolidate the last Champions League qualification place, while Hannover remains 10th after Tayfun Korkuts first defeat as coach. "Its a shame we couldnt get a point here," Zieler said. Already without injured captain Benedikt Hoewedes, Schalke has further concerns after defensive midfielder Roman Neustaedter went off with a knee injury in the first half, while Uchida went down clutching his knee late in the game. Schalke hosts Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie on Feb. 26. Augsburg continued its fine Bundesliga season with a 4-1 win at Stuttgart earlier Sunday, condemning the home side to its fifth consecutive loss. The visitors opened the scoring against the run of play in the 35th minute through Arkadiusz Milik and built on the lead when Halil Altintop sprung the offside trap for Andre Hahn to finish with aplomb in the 44th. Stuttgarts hopes effectively evaporated with Vedad Ibisevics sending off in the 53rd. TV replays showed the Bosnian striker struck out at Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Brackers face in an off-the-ball incident, leading the Augsburg defender to fall to the ground. Hahn scored his second of the game three minutes later for his ninth of the season. Konstantin Rausch pulled one back for Stuttgart in the 62nd, but Tobias Werner ended any hopes of an unlikely comeback two minutes later. Augsburg stretched its unbeaten run to eight league games and climbed to eighth, while Stuttgart is just two points off the relegation zone after its seventh defeat in eight games. "Its a difficult period. There were many negative highlights for us today," Stuttgart sports director Fredi Bobic said. "The first goal was the turning point. We had them under control for 30 minutes before that." Bayern Munich maintained its 13-point lead over Bayer Leverkusen with a 2-0 win at Nuremberg in the Bavarian derby on Saturday. 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Pinch-hitter Tommy Medica singled in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and the Padres beat the Seattle Mariners 2-1 in their first home game since Gwynn died of cancer Monday.Neighbours and fierce rivals Iran and Iraq will meet in the Asian Cup quarterfinals on Friday, while defending champion and title favourite Japan will face the United Arab Emirates.Here are some things to watch:___IRAN VS. IRAQ (0630 GMT): The winner-takes-all match in the Australian capital Canberra will be fiercely contested between two teams that both believe they have the edge on their opponent.Irans form has been faultless, with three wins from three in the group stage, keeping clean sheets in every game. With experienced and highly regarded coach Carlos Queiroz in charge, the Iranians belief in their title chances is growing.Iran, which beat Iraq in a pre-tournament friendly, clinched top spot in its group with a stoppage-time winner by Reza Ghoochannejhad which delivered a 1-0 win against the UAE.The spirit is great in our team, Ghoochannejhad. The chemistry and spirit in this team is amazing and we hope to continue and get good results in the future.Iraqs form has not been quite as convincing, beating Jordan and Palestine while losing a tightly-fought match against Japan. Iraq, though, still has vivid memories of 2007 when it won the Asian Cup against the odds, with its homeland in the midst of war.I see it as a tough game, Iraq midfielder Yaser Kasim said. They are a good side. We played them in a friendly already, so we got a test how to play against them, and how they play. Its going to be a massive, massive game and a great rivalry, so hopefully we can put on a show for the people.___JAPAN VS. UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (0930 GMT): Four-time champion Japan starts as a favourite against the UAE, and the Blue Samurai are living up to their billing as the team to beat for the title.Coach Javier Aguirre, who is working under thhe cloud of an ongoing match-fixing investigation relating to his time in Spanish club football, was not letting his players get ahead of themselves going into the Melbourne match.ddddddddddddFrom my experience in the Copa America, World Cup and the Gold Cup, I can say that our chances are the same as the other seven teams remaining, Aguirre said. From now we start from zero.Japan will have had only two days rest since its last group game — one day less than the UAE — and star attacker Keisuke Honda was not impressed with the timing.Two days is too short for recovery, Honda said. We have to deal with it but I dont agree with this schedule. It is very difficult, a tough schedule.We shouldnt think we will create many chances against them. They are strong physically, have speed and many talented players.The Emirates chances of pulling off a surprise win will rest largely on the shoulders of young playmaker Omar Abdulrahman, whose performances in this tournament have demonstrated why some of Europes big clubs are tracking his progress.The UAEs strength is a coherence born of having the same group of players coming up through the ranks from under-17s, but Abdulrahman is the standout.Japan captain Makoto Hasebe, as the ball-winning midfielder, will have the chief responsibility of negating the Emirati star.He gets a lot of the ball from his teammates and we know he is the key player, Hasebe said. He is a playmaker more than a finisher and we have to take care of the way he distributes the ball.I have seen some of their games and they are dangerous going forward. They have a lot of players that have come through younger age groups together and are a complete team. But, that said, on our day I think we are a better team. ' ' '