SCOTT PETERSON - Monday, December 16, 2013
Timothy Chandler and Nuremberg are still looking for win number 1, Fabian Johnson and Hoffenheim stole a point from Dortmund and Jermaine Jones helped Schalke to 3 points.
Hannover 96 3 - 3 FC Nürnberg
Timothy Chandler and Nuremberg fell victim to an atrocious offsides decision versus Hannover as the Franconians remain winless on the year.
Chandler put in a full day's work and surely thought Nuremberg would finally snag that elusive first victory after the three-goal barrage within a span of ten minutes in the opening frame saw them up three.
The fireworks began in the 30th minute as Adam Hlousek struck on a spectacular long-range effort that darted its way past friend and foe, before landing beyond the line.
Josip Drmic made it two eight minutes later, running onto Hiroshi Kiyotake's sublime pass behind the defense, before chipping an onrushing Ron Robert Zieler for the Franconians' second.
Marvin Plattenhardt then picked out Per Nilsson on a corner three minutes later and the burly Swede buried a header to close out the scoring for Nuremberg.
A 3-0 lead is generally secure; however, with the amount of quality that nearly every Bundesliga side has anything can happen. And anything did.
The hosts began the comeback in the 60th minute with Szablocs Huszti peeling past Chandler before picking out Olivier Bittencourt for the youngster's first Bundesliga goal.
Mame Diouff then pulled Hannover to within one in the 87th minute on one of the worst decisions in recent memory. The Senegalese was a good three yards off sides when he collected the ball and fired home. Nevertheless, referee Thorsten Kinhöfer awarded it and the deficit was now one.
There was nothing irregular about his second, though, as Diouff punched home a loose ball in the third minute of stoppage time to give the hosts a share of the spoils.
Chandler and Nuremberg have one last chance to earn a victory in 2013 in Saturday night's contest versus Schalke.
Hoffenheim 1899 2 - 2 Borussia Dortmund
Fabian Johnson came on in the second half for Hoffenheim as the hosts earned a surprising point against Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.
Johnson entered the match in the 71st minute for Kai Herdling for his third straight appearance off the bench.
Hoffenheim took the lead in the 17th minute through Sven Schipplock, who chipped home Roberto Firmino's cutting through ball to beat keeper Mitchell Langerak.
It was a two-goal lead for the hosts 20 minutes later when Sebastian Rudy played Kevin Volland in behind the Dortmund backline and the German spanked home a left-footed shot inside the far post.
Hoffenheim only had themselves to blame for letting Dortmund back into the game.
In the 44th minute keeper Jens Grahl could not corral Marco Reus' corner cleanly and inexplicably hesitated to pounce the loose ball as it rest between his feet. The extra half-second was all Patrick Aubameyang needed to toe poke the ball home into an open net.
The early deficit now forgotten, Dortmund grew in confidence and began attacking Hoffenheim in waves.
Their efforts bore fruit in the 67th minute as Lukasz Piszczek drew Dortmund level. The Polish full back saw his initial close-range header denied by keeper Grahl, but was able to stuff home the rebound.
Dortmund had several chances to claim all the spoils, but were let down once again but their shoddy finishing.
Hoffenheim and Johnson are back in action on Saturday when they travel to do battle with Eintracht Braunschweig.
Hertha Berlin 3 - 2 Bremen
John Anthony Brooks was subbed off in the first half in a victory over Bremen after the Berliners conceded a pair of unnecessary goals.
Brooks got the start but came off in the 38th minute for Peter Niemeyer.
Nils Petersen fired Bremen in front in the 15th minute with a blast struck flush from 20 yards, but Berlin's Arian Ramos restored parity two minutes later from the spot after Gebre Selassie felled Per Skjelbred in the box.
It was two for Berlin and two for Ramos in the 26th as Skjelbred and Ramos unlocked the defense with a give-and-go that gave the Colombian a free run at goal, which he coolly converted.
Aaron Hunt marked his 200th Bundesliga contest with a goal in the 32nd minute, which saw the German finish off a counter attack started by fellow striker Petersen.
The game winner fell just after the restart through Brazilian playmaker Ronny. The 27-year-old was Johnny on the spot to stuff home a rebound from close range in the 48th minute.
Up next for Berlin and Brooks is a road date versus Borussia Dortmund to close out the first half of the Bundesliga season.
Schalke 04 2 - 0 SC Freiburg
Jermaine Jones put in just over 30 minutes of second-half work for Schalke, who overcame personnel problems in key positions to defeat Freiburg.
Jones started on the bench, but was brought on in the 58th minute for Christian Fuchs. Schalke were without starting central defender Benedikt Höwedes (suspended), left back Atsuto Uchida and playmaker Julian Draxler (both injured).
Freiburg's Nicolas Höfler inadvertently opened the scoring for Schalke in the 44th minute as his attempted clearance went horribly wrong - and off his leg and into goal.
Schalke effectively put the game away in the 67th minute as Jefferson Farfan converted a penalty after Max Meyer was fouled from behind in the box after making a menacing run at Freiburg's backline.
Schalke and Jones close out the first half of the Bundesliga season on Saturday when they travel to take on winless Nuremberg.
Erzgebirge Aue 0 - 0 FC Ingolstadt
Alfredo Morales battled to help 10-man Ingolstadt hang on for a point versus Aue in 2.Liga action.
Morales went the distance in midfield for Ingolstadt, who first saw a goal disallowed that should not have been and their captain sent off for a professional foul in the first 45.
Pascal Groß connected on a spectacular effort that appeared to open the scoring on Ingolstadt's first real foray into the attacking third.
The referee, however, adjudged the ball to have landed in front of the goal line after it caromed off the cross bar. Replays showed otherwise and added further substance to the debate surrounding the use of goal line technology in soccer in the process.
Ingolstadt was on the wrong end of a decision again in the 39th minute as captain Marvin Matip was shown a straight red for a fair-looking challenge. Making matters worse: the phantom foul happened in the box.
However, Ramazan Özcan came up big when his squad needed him, getting low and getting big to fish out Zlatko Janjic's spot kick and keep the match scoreless.
The second half failed to produce the fireworks the first did and the game ended scoreless.
With the point, Morales and Ingolstadt stayed above the drop zone. They round out the year in the 2.Liga with a Monday match versus Kaiserslautern.
Preußen Münster 0 - 0 Leipzig
Matt Taylor and Munster earned a home point against second-place Leipzig on Saturday.
Taylor put in 87 minutes for the home side, who had little in the way of offensive production.
In fact, neither side truly posed much of a threat.
The guests from Leipzig did have the best of the meager attacking output with Daniel Frahn hitting the side netting in the 28th minute, while both Dennis Thomalla and Yousef Poulsen met their match in Munster keeper Daniel Masuch.
The point gives Munster 24 on the season, good enough for 13th place in the 20 team league. Up next is a road date versus last-place Wacker Burghausen.