DAVID SMITH - Monday, September 13, 2010
Jermaine Jones and Schalke continued their awful start to the season with a loss at Hoffenheim while David Yelldell and Duisburg remained perfect to keep their place top the 2. Bundesliga standings.
1899 Hoffenheim 2 - 0 FC Schalke 04
Jermaine Jones went the full 90 minutes for Schalke on Friday evening as they were doomed to a third straight loss on their visit to Hoffenheim's Rhein-Neckar-Arena.
Having begun the season winless despite several high-profile additions to the team, pressure was mounting on Schalke coach Felix Magath to get a result in Hoffenheim, however another lackluster performance from the team undoubtedly leave critics with an abundance of fuel.
While Magath's men seemed to have their defense in order for the first half-hour, matters quickly went awry eight minutes before the break when Isaac Vorsah was left free to leap above the defense to head in a cross from Andreas Beck following a shortly-taken corner from Tobias Weis.
Even though they desperately needed to score to avoid embarrassment at the hands of their hosts, Schalke looked largely unmotivated or simply uninterested in trying to recover from their deficit.
With the game in little doubt as the final whistle approached, the Königsblauen were dealt one last indignity in the last moments of second-half injury time, as Sejad Salihovic took a free kick from the right edge of the box, which first hit the right post before bouncing off the stunned Manuel Neuer and into goal for the final 2-0 win to the hosts.
The loss leaves Schalke without any points on the season, in a surprising tie for the bottom spot in the league with Wolfsburg and Stuttgart. They next host arch-rivals Dortmund on Sunday in a vital derby match that could see the team and management redeem themselves or lose complete faith of the fans.
Borussia Mönchengladbach 0 - 4 Eintracht Frankfurt
Michael Bradley went the distance for the Foals on Saturday afternoon, drawing a 53rd-minute yellow card as the team was humbled in front of the home crowd by previously-winless Eintracht Frankfurt.
Frankfurt midfielder Ricardo Clark was included on his team's bench, and made his first appearance of the season as an 89th-minute substitute.
The visitors took the lead in the 24th minute when Benjamin Köhler was in perfect position to put away the rebound following a save of a header by Theofanis Gekas, then the Greek international grabbed a goal of his own 12 minutes later, putting away a cross from the right by Alexander Meier.
The rout was on five minutes after the break as Pirmin Schwegler sprung Patrick Ochs with a pinpoint pass, with Ochs making the finish look easy as he beat keeper Logan Bailly with his 16-yard shot.
Frankfurt added their fourth and final goal four minutes past the hour mark on the heels of a quick counter, this time with Gekas netting his second of the afternoon thanks to a setup from Halil Altintop after the Turkish international beat Bradley on a fine run.
Gladbach drop into an eighth-place tie with Leverkusen, and will next visit last-place Stuttgart on Saturday.
Frankfurt climb to 12th place on the strength of their first points of the season, and will host Freiburg on Friday evening.
Hannover 96 2 - 2 Bayer Leverkusen
Steve Cherundolo played the full 90 minutes in Hannover's defense drawing a yellow card just before halftime as the ten-man Reds were forced to settle for a draw at home with Leverkusen after giving up a last-minute equalizer.
New Hannover signee DaMarcus Beasley was included on Mirko Slomka's bench for the game, but did not take the field and is still waiting for his competitive debut in Germany.
Didier Ya Konan put Hannover in the lead after 20 minutes with a remarkable effort, running onto a backheel flick from Christian Schulz that took a slight deflection off of Sami Hyypiä, and smashing it past the outstretched Rene Adler.
His goal was overshadowed by two potentially game-changing events later in the half, as Leverkusen golden-boy Michael Ballack went off injured barely ten minutes later, then Hannover defender Emanuel Pogatetz was given his marching orders in the 36th minute for a second yellow.
Despite their man-disadvantage, Hannover remarkably doubled the lead five minutes past the break as Mohammed Abdellaoue beat Adler on a corner from Sergio Pinto.
The strain of playing a man down finally got to Hannover as Eren Derdiyok one-timed a shot past the diving Florian Fromlowitz after a long headed pass into the six-yard box by Patrick Helmes, cutting the lead to one.
Although the Reds fought valiantly to hold their lead, they were nevertheless forced to settle for a tie as Helmes nailed a tricky indirect free kick in the final seconds of regulation.
The point still sees Hannover climb to fourth place with seven points in the bag. They will hit the road on Saturday and try to further improve their standing when they visit winless Wolfsburg.
MSV Duisburg 2 - 1 TSV 1860 München
David Yelldell went the distance in Duisburg's goal on Saturday afternoon as the Zebras notched up their third straight win, riding a second-half rally to take all three points against visiting 1860.
Kenny Cooper is still recovering from a broken ankle and did not figure into the proceedings for the visitors.
1860 star Benjamin Lauth gave the visitors the lead after 25 minutes with a spectacular 27-yard shot, which dropped perfectly just below the crossbar, leaving Yelldell no chance whatsoever.
Even though the Lions carried the lead into halftime, the situation changed drastically just seconds after the restart with Srdjan Baljak pulling down a throw-in from Julian Koch, and escaping his defender for just long enough to launch a highlight-reel blast from just outside the upper right corner of the area to just out of the reach of 1860 keeper Gabor Kiraly.
Baljak once again took advantage of the deflated 1860 defense for the winning goal 20 minutes later, creating havoc with a run into the box, snapping up a ball that should have been cleared by the defender and firing it from close range into goal for the winner.
Duisburg retain first place thanks to the win, ahead of Augsburg by a thin margin of total goals scored. They next visit seventh-place Aue on Sunday.
1860 drop into ninth place with just three points to their name, but will look to improve their situation when they visit bottom-three team Düsseldorf on Sunday afternoon.
Eintracht Braunschweig 2 - 0 Rot Weiss Ahlen
New Rot Weiss Ahlen addition Matt Taylor played the full 90 minutes up front for his new team, but he was unable to help them get on the scoreboard as they were shut out by still-undefeated Braunschweig on Saturday.
Braunschweig got off to a fast start when Markus Unger caught the Ahlen defense off guard following a corner from Mirko Boland, and nailed his 22-yard shot for the lead.
Julius Reinhardt nearly put the hosts up by two after 32 minutes on the tail end of a counter attack when his shot was blocked, but was on-target moments later when he pulled down a long ball from the midfield and fired it into the corner for 2-0.
Finding themselves in a tough position with barely one-third of the game through, Ahlen was unable to mount any come-back, and were doomed to their seventh-straight game without a win.
The loss continues Ahlen's rough start to their 3. Liga campaign, as they have dropped into the relegation zone with just five points through seven games. They will hope to do better on Saturday when they host Carl Zeiss Jena.
Amaechi Igwe is still recovering from injury and did not dress for Ingolstadt on Friday for their 2-1 loss at home to Rot-Weiß Oberhausen.
Daniel Williams was not included in Freiburg's gameday roster for their 2-1 victory at home over Stuttgart on Saturday.
Backup keeper Luis Robles will watch from the bench on Monday evening when Karlsruher SC head east to visit Energie Cottbus.