RECAP: WEEKEND GERMAN ACTION
Fabian Johnson and Hoffenheim picked up a point versus Wolfsburg, while both Timmy Chandler and Steve Cherundolo fell in Bundesliga action.
SC Freiburg 3 - 1 Hannover 96
Steve Cherundolo captained Hannover 96 and went the distance versus surprise Bundesliga squad Freiburg, who knocked off the Lower Saxons Friday night.
After returning from a long layoff last week in front of the home fans, Cherundolo started his second game in a row at right back versus a Freiburg team that has surprised everyone by making a serious push at the last Champions League spot.
Freiburg grabbed the lead in the 25th minute thanks to Hannover defender Christian Schulz, who redirected the ball into his own net after keeper Ron Robert Zieler overran Jonathan Schmid's cross.
Hannover's Mame Diouff helped restore parity as he set up Konstantin Rausch with a pass across the face of goal. Rausch had no trouble converting to bring the Lower Saxons level in the 36th minute.
Max Kruse put Freiburg back on top just before the break with a powerful shot with his favored left. Kruse thumped the effort from 25 plus yards just inside the right corner in the 44th minute.
As Hannover pushed numbers forward in search of a second-half equalizer, Freiburg struck on the counter. Schmid converted the chance on the break in the 73rd minute to put the game out of reach.
With the loss, Hannover finds themselves in 10th place with 39 points. Up next is a home date versus newly-minted champs Bayern Munich.
FC Bayern Munich 4 - 0 FC Nürnberg
Timothy Chandler and FC Nürnberg were unable to provide Bayern Munich with any kind of opposition as the Bavarians ran rampant in the Bavarian-Franconian derby.
Chandler came on at half time to help add some stability to a Nuremberg team that found themselves down three after the first 45.
Jerome Boateng fired Munich ahead in the fifth minute as the German defender converted a corner with a spectacular scissor kick that turned Nuremberg keeper Rafael Schäffer into a spectator.
The hosts were up two in the 17th thanks to Mario Gomez, who received a pass from Boateng, split the defense and slotted home from close range.
Brazilian defender Rafinha scored his second of the season in the 25th minute. Claudio Pizarro threaded a pass into Rafinha's path behind the defense. The Brazilian continued his driving run into the box unopposed and beat Schäffer with a well-struck right-footed shot.
The guests from Nuremberg had a glimmer of hope just seconds into half number two as Rafinha fouled Mike Frantz in the box. Munich keeper Tom Starke, however, was up to the challenge and stuffed Timmy Simons' spot kick in the 47th minute.
Munich then added a fourth in the 56th as Xherdan Shaqiri latched onto Franck Ribery's corner kick with his right boot; it was the game's final tally.
Chandler and Nuremberg are back in action next Sunday as they host Greuther Fürth.
VfL Wolfsburg 2 - 2 1899 Hoffenheim
While Fabian Johnson and Hoffenheim picked up a point, it will feel more like two lost after the guests conceded late versus Wolfsburg.
Johnson went the distance for Hoffenheim, who has been playing inspired soccer since Markus Gidsol took over two weeks ago; Daniel Williams was not included in the matchday lineup for the second time in a row.
The hosts grabbed the advantage in the 13th minute as Ricardo Rodriguez picked out 19 year old Maximillian Arnold and the youngster whipped a furious right-footed shot past keeper Koen Casteels.
Hoffenheim drew level after 34 minutes of action through Sehad Salihovic, who converted a spot kick after Rodriguez was adjudged to have fouled Sven Schipplock in the box.
In the 63rd minute, Hoffenheim was up a goal thanks to Andreas Beck. The German defender unceremoniously hammered home from 23 yards out past Wolfsburg keeper Diego Benaglio.
The three points, however, were not meant to be for the guests as Brazilian defender Naldo nodded home a corner to snatch a point for the home team.
After Augsburg defeated Frankfurt on Sunday, Hoffenheim still remain in 17th spot, three points back of a relegation playoff spot. Up next for Johnson and Hoffenheim is a road match versus Leverkusen.
FC Sankt Pauli 3 - 1 1860 Munich
Bobby Wood came on in the second half for Munich versus St. Pauli on Saturday as the Bavarians suffered a damaging blow to their already faint promotion aspirations.
Wood came on in the 65th minute for Marin Tomasov; fellow American Joseph Gyau was a scratch with a groin injury.
Sankt Pauli opened the scoring in the 34th minute with some fancy passing between Dennis Daube and Fin Bartles setting up Daniel Ginczek in the box. The young German striker buried the chance from the spot for his 14th goal of the season.
The hosts doubled their lead in the 70th minute through Bartels, who pounced on 1860 keeper Gabor Kiraly's blunder.
The Hungarian keeper failed to corral an otherwise harmless cross from the touchline that floated towards goal and gifted Bartels a free go on goal from close range.
Rob Friend pulled one back for Munich three minutes later as the Canadian converted a corner kick with his head.
The hosts, however, were not to be denied as the diminutive Bartels elevated to latch onto Sebastian Schachten's cross with his head in the 74th minute.
The victory gives Sankt Pauli 36 points and leaves them in 13th place, while Munich stays put in sixth place with 42 points after the loss.
Sankt Pauli travel to face Bochum on Friday. A day later Munich hosts FSV Frankfurt.
Sandhausen 1 - 3 Eintracht Braunschweig
Andrew Wooten started in a losing effort for Sandhausen versus promotion candidates Braunschweig on Friday, tumbling further towards relegation.
Wooten put in 72 minutes of action in the Sandhausen attack, but it was Braunschweig striker Dominick Kumbela that garnered the accolades.
Kumbela found the back of the net after just four minutes had elapsed dancing through the Sandhausen defense and firing past keeper Michael Langer.
The Congolese striker struck again right before the break on a wonderful volley, powering his shot into the upper left corner in the 39th minute.
Sandhausen pulled one back in the 51st minute thanks to Finnish striker Juho Mäkäla, who toe poked home a corner.
Braunschweig put the game to bed in the 86th minute, taking their turn at converting a corner through Dennis Kruppke.
Up next for Sandhausen is a road match at league leaders Berlin.
Kickers Offenbach 0 - 1 Preußen Münster
Matt Taylor logged a full 90 minutes of action for Munster, who knocked off Offenbach to stay in third place.
In defeating Offenbach Munster remained a point up on fourth place Osnabrück for the relegation playoff spot.
The game's only goal fell in the 58th minute.
Dima Nazarov connected after taking advantage of a communication breakdown in Offenbach's backline. The young German snatched up the ball and rounded keeper Robert Wulnikowski for his sixth tally of the season.
Munster now has 62 points, one more than Osnabrück. Both teams are in action midweek with Munster and Taylor travelling to VfB II.
Borussia Dortmund II 1 - 0 Darmstadt
Preston Zimmerman came up short for Darmstadt in a game that the Lilies desperately needed coming up short versus Dortmund.
Zimmerman put in 90 minutes for Darmstadt in attack.
The game-winning goal came in the 57th minute.
Hungarian striker Balint Bajner cleaned up with a short-range header after German striker Eric Durm thundered his shot off the post; it was Bajner's fifth goal of the season.
Darmstadt is now a point back of Dortmund II, who also has two games in hand. Darmstadt is back in action on Wednesday versus Chemnitz.