SCOTT PETERSON - Thursday, December 22, 2011
Fabian Johnson and Daniel Williams were all smiles as they reached the DFB Cup quarterfinal, while Jermaine Jones and Timothy Chandler were both knocked out of the competition by Gladbach and Fürth.
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 2 - 1 FC Augsburg
Fabian Johnson got the start as left fullback and went the distance, while Daniel Williams got some late-game playing time, as Hoffenheim defeated Augsburg thanks to the efforts of two Bosnians.
Johnson filled in at right fullback for the third straight match for injured Edson Braafheid, putting in a solid performance over the full 90 minutes.
The scoring started in the 23rd minute as Sejad Salihovic showed once again why he is one of, if the most, dangerous free-kick taker in the Bundesliga. The Bosnian took the set piece from dead center of goal and curled a screamer over the wall and inside the right post for the 1-0 lead.
Getting a lead has not been a problem for Hoffenheim this year, holding on to it, however, has been. This time was no different. Holger Stanislawski's men kept up the pressure, but could not find a second. Brazilian Firmino came closest in the 28th minute, but his effort was saved by keeper Mohammed Amsif.
It looked as if history was damned to repeat itself for Hoffenheim as the guests equalized in the 36th minute after the otherwise sure-handed Tom Starke spilled a cross from the left right to the feet of Augsburg striker Torsten Oehrl, who tapped in easily from close range.
After the break, Hoffenheim wasted little time in restoring their one-goal advantage. This time goal-scorer Salihovic turned provider, as his free kick from deep on the right flank found striker Vedad Ibisevic in the box. The Bosnian striker took the chance one-time and curled it into the back of the net from 6 yards out.
With the lead once again, Hoffenheim displayed more confidence in possession and could have added a third, but Ryan Babel and Salihovic could not convert in the 57th and 58th minutes respectively.
As the game neared its conclusion, head coach Stanislawski brought on Williams in the 83rd minute to bolster the defense.
The one goal lead was enough and Hoffenheim advanced.
In the quarter finals, Hoffenheim will take on Fürth in Hoffenheim on February 2nd.
FC Nürnberg 0 - 1 SpVgg Greuther Fürth
Timothy Chandler was back in action for Nürnberg, going the distance in defense, but Nürnberg lost the 254th Franconian derby to Fürth in front of their home crowd.
Chandler, who is in the midst of serving a two-game ban in the Bundesliga, was named to the starting lineup by Dieter Hecking for the German Cup game.
In a hotly contested affair, both teams came out determined to give their fans something to cheer about, but it was Nürnberg who looked the better of the two squads.
The game's first real chance, however, came in the 14th minute as Fürth's Stephan Fürstner forced Nürnberg keeper Rafael Schäffer into a save, which resulted in a corner.
The following corner was not dealt with by the home team. Christopher Nöthe flicked onto Edgar Prib from the near post and Prib found himself unmarked at the far post. He needed only to redirect the ball into the empty net and did just that for the 1-0 lead.
Fürth nearly doubled their lead in the 20th minute, but Stefan Schröck narrowly missed the target after beating Schäffer in a one-on-one situation.
After dominating the second half, Nürnberg thought they had an equalizer in the 80th minute, but referee Knut Kirscher disallowed Daniel Didavi's goal due to an infraction by Albert Bunjaku in the box.
Nürnberg kept coming, but could find the back of the net before time ran out.
Up next for Nürnberg is a home match against Hertha Berlin on the 21st of January when the Bundesliga resumes.
Borussia Mönchengladbach 3 - 1 FC Schalke 04
Jermaine Jones started as a holding midfielder for Schalke 04, but his team lost a close one to Gladbach in a testy affair that saw Jones sent off late.
Jones went the distance and made his physical presence known, picking up an early yellow card for a tactical foul on Gladbach's Patrick Hermann.
In the 18th minute, Gladbach got on the board after Kyriakos Papadopoulos could only clear as far as Venezuelan Juan Arango, who left Schalke keeper Lars Unnerstall with no chance from the edge of the area.
Gladbach dominated the first half, but could not add to their advantage.
The second half started with a bang. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar saw two yellow cards in five seconds for excessive protests and then an offensive gesture. The loss decimated Schalke, who was crippled without their top goal getter.
Marco Reus doubled Gladbach's lead in the 56th minute as he won the ball in midfield and took advantage of Joel Matip's passive defending, which allowed the young German to fire a shot on goal from 28 yards out. Unnerstall was wrong-footed and could only watch as the ball scooted into the back of the net.
Julian Draxler pulled one back for Schalke in the 70th minute when he pounced on a loose ball in front of keeper Marc Ter Stegen, neatly sliding by the big net-minder to tap in for the 2-1 score.
The goal re-energized Schalke, who suddenly looked likely to score. Raúl had a chance to score in the 74th minute, but keeper Ter Stegen was up to the challenge.
Gladbach then put the game to bed in the 88th minute, as Reus took advantage of a mistake by keeper Unnerstall, who came off his line to get a long clearance outside the box only to miss the ball and give Reus the easiest of goals.
In the game's dying seconds, Jones saw his second yellow card as he got into a verbal exchange with Argentine Igor de Camargo.
Jones may also be looking at a longer suspension for an ugly scene in the first half. As Reus was arguing with referee Wolfgang Stark, Jones was seen to run up behind Reus and deliberately stomp down on his injured left foot with his heel. The German governing body, the DFB, is investigating.
Schalke and Jones are now on winter break and are off until the 21st of January when they host VfB Stuttgart.
Alfredo Morales was on Hertha's bench on Thursday as they punched their quarterfinal ticket with a 3-1 home win over FC Kaiserslautern. The team has been drawn to face Borussia Mönchengladbach in Berlin, who themselves knocked off cup holders Schalke.