MATHEW WAGNER - Tuesday, December 23, 2014
John Anthony Brooks ended 2014 on a bad note, while Royal-Dominique Fennell and the Stuttgarter Kickers moved into a promotion spot in the 3.Liga before the winter break.
Bayern Leverkusen 1 - 1 Eintracht Frankfurt
Tim Chandler and Eintracht Frankfurt left two points on the table in a draw at Leverkusen on Saturday.
Chandler started at right back for the Adler, his eighth consecutive start, and the American fullback recorded his fourth yellow card of the season.
It took a while for both teams to create something going forward as both teams played strong defensively. In the 37th minute, Bundesliga-leading goal-scorer Alexander Meier broke the deadlock on a penalty, which teammate Takashi Inui won by when Leverkusen Tin Jedvaj felled him as he dribbled through the box.
The Adler looked to be holding on for a 1-0 win until a bad turnover in midfield by Slobodan Medojevic. Leverkusen's Lars Bender stole the ball and passed forward to Karim Bellarabi, who thanks to Chandler, was onside and behind the defense. Coming from the right side of the net, Bellarabi launched a 15-yard shot past Frankfurt goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand at the near post for the equalizer.
The tie means Frankfurt heads into the winter break in ninth place on 23 points, and the Adler next play Dortmund on January 31.
Hertha BSC 0 - 5 TSG Hoffenheim
John Anthony Brooks and Hertha BSC had a nightmare end to 2014 with a big loss at home to Hoffenheim.
Brooks started and went the distance at center back for the Old Lady.
Brooks had a forgettable first 45 minutes, beginning in the 23rd minute. Hoffenheim's Kevin Volland sent in a cross from the left wing that went to Brooks, who, with no one near him, stuck his leg out behind him in the middle of the six-yard box. The problem was the American defender knocked the ball into his wide-open net.
Brooks' nightmare continued just 112 seconds later when he committed another grave error. Trying to control a ball on the edge of the 18-yard box, he stuck out a high leg that caught Sinsheimer Sven Schipplock, causing the referee to call a penalty. Sejad Salihovic stepped up and converted it.
In Brooks' defense, he wasn't the only Hertha defender to struggle in the first half, as the Old Lady conceded a second penalty in the 38th minute. Nico Schulz felled Andreas Beck toward the right edge of the 18-yard box, although replays showed Beck went down without much in the way of contact from Schulz. Salihovic once again stepped up to the spot to convert it and give his team a three-goal halftime lead.
Despite the deficit, Hertha never really seemed likely to get back into the match during the second half. Meanwhile, Hoffenheim added to its lead in the 74th minute, as Schipplock finished off a counterattack by walking the ball over the line. Then, in the 84th minute, Roberto Firmino made Hertha's Peter Niemeyer pay for dribbling outside the box, stealing the ball and passing to Sebastian Rudy for a fifth goal.
With the loss, the Old Lady sits in 13th place with 18 points, just one above the relegation zone, and the team returns to action February 1 in Bremen.
SV Darmstadt 98 2 - 2 FC Ingolstadt 04
In yet another matchup of Ingolstadt against its closest competitor atop the 2.Bundesliga standings at the time, Alfredo Morales and Ingolstadt split the spoils with Darmstadt on the road on Sunday.
Morales went the full 90 minutes in central midfield for the Schanzer, recording his seventh yellow card of the season.
Darmstadt opened the scoring in the seventh minute, albeit a controversial goal. The Lilies' Milan Ivana sent in a corner that Aytac Sulu headed along to Hanno Behrens, who used his left foot to put the ball in the back of the net. On replay, it looked as though Behrens was offside, though.
In the 20th minute, the Schanzer scored off their own set piece to equalize. Groß blasted a 23-yard free kick into the right corner of the net. Then, 20 minutes later, the away team took the lead when Stefan Lex took advantage of Darmstadt goalkeeper Christian Mathenia standing off his life by looping a shot over him.
Ingolstadt held onto that lead until the 54th minute, when once again, it seemed like a Darmstadt played a ball in an offside position, only for it not to be called and lead to a goal. This time, it was Ivana who was that player, and he dribbled along the right wing to the end line before crossing to Marcell Heller at the right post for the goal.
From that point, neither team had many goal-scoring opportunities. Thus, the match ended in a draw, leaving the Schanzer seven points atop the German second division heading into the winter break. They next play Greuther Fürth on February 6.
Stuttgarter Kickers 2 - 0 Sonnenhof Großaspach
Royal-Dominique Fennell and the Stuttgarter Kickers jumped into third place in the 3.Liga thanks to a win over Großaspach on Saturday.
Fennell went the distance as a defensive midfielder for the Kickers, who have gone eight matches unbeaten and won their final three of 2014.
The Kickers enjoyed the majority of possession and had the majority of chances throughout the match. Therefore, it wasn't a shock when they took the lead in the 30th minute when Sandrino Braun bounded home a rebound with his left foot.
The Blauen continued to control the match in the second half, but they really started to dominate after Großaspach's Nicolas Jüllich received his second yellow card of the match and was sent off. That led to Daniel Engelbrecht, who's returning from a heart injury and is playing with a defibrillator, to put the match to bed in the 78th minute with a goal.
Heading into the winter break, the Kickers find themselves in the promotion-playoff spot, and they will play Mainz II on February 1.
VfB Stuttgart II 2 - 2 Rot-Weiß Erfurt
Jerome Kiesewetter and Stuttgart II needed a late goal to nick a point against Erfurt at home on Saturday.
Kiesewetter went the full 90 minutes on the right wing for the Schwaben.
Erfurt took the lead in the 19th minute thanks to a penalty conceded by Stuttgart keeper Odissaes Vlachodimos. Sebastian Tyrala stepped up to convert it.
Kiesewetter recorded the equalizer for Stuttgart II 19 minutes later, as the German-American pounced a poorly cleared cross into the box and fired a low shot inside the left post.
Erfurt didn't seem content heading into halftime with the match tied, and the team pressed for another goal. Erfurt created that goal in the 45th minute through Andreas Wiegel to take a one-goal advantage in to the break.
The away team began the second half looking more dangerous, but about halfway through the last 45 minutes, the Schwaben grew more and more into the match. Then, in the second minute of second-half stoppage time, they managed to equalize, with Marco Grüttner heading a ball past Erfurt keeper Phillip Klein.
With the tie, Stuttgart II dropped into 15th place, and the Schwaben travel to Kiel on January 31.
Fabian Johnson played the final 12 minutes of Mönchengladbach's 2-1 defeat in Augsburg on Saturday.
Julian Green dressed but didn't play in Hamburg's goalless draw with Schalke on Saturday.
Andrew Wooten missed Sandhausen's 1-0 loss at Kaiserslautern with the stomach flu.