RECAP: GERMAN WEEKEND ACTION
Fabian Johnson and Hoffenheim dispatched Augsburg by a pair of goals, while Alfredo Morales notched his first tally for Ingolstadt in a losing effort.
Hoffenheim 2 - 0 Augsburg
Fabian Johnson and Hoffenheim took care of business Sunday versus Augsburg to continue their excellent form of late.
Johnson lined up in his usual right-back spot for head coach Markus Gisdol and Hoffenheim, going the full 90.
The fans had barely enough time to take their seats, when the game's first attacking foray came tantalizingly close to bearing fruit in the 2nd minute. Augsburg's Sascha Mölders was played through and on a breakaway, where he beat Hoffenheim keeper Jens Grahl, only to see the effort stuffed by the post.
The guests needed a good five minutes to regain their composure and begin attacking the Augsburg goal.
Roberto Firmino led the first Hoffenheim attack in the eighth minute, while Eugene Polanski came close in the 12th.
In the 19th minute, Sehad Salihovic made the game's first free kick count with a curling effort from 22 yards out that darted over the wall before dipping inside the near post for the opener.
In the 43rd minute, Hoffenheim showed just how opportunistic it can be as Jannick Vestergaard pouced on deflection in the box to head home and make it 2-0.
With the win Hoffenheim has 40 points, just two back of eighth place Augsburg.
Up next for Hoffenheim and Johnson is a road date versus Bremen on Saturday.
FC Ingolstadt 1 - 2 Paderborn
Alfredo Morales scored his first goal for Ingolstadt, but ultimately fell to third place Paderborn.
Morales put in just under an hour of work, before he was subbed off as a precaution.
In the fifth minute, Morales put his club. A rebounded ball landed at his feet, just at the edge of the box, and Morales found the back of the net with a well-struck, low shot. It was his first goal for Ingolstadt.
In the 36th minute, it was level as Marvin Bakalorz cleaned up after a scrum in the Ingolstadt area.
Paderborn left it late to find a winner, and break Ingolstadt hearts. Elias Kachunga was in the right place at the right time, and pounced on an errant Danilo cross to slot home the winner in the 83rd minute.
Morales and Ingolstadt are eight points clear of the drop zone, with four to play. Up next is a road affair versus Aalen.
FSV Frankfurt 0 - 3 Sandhausen
Andrew Wooten was a second-half sub for Frankfurt, who fell at home to Sandhausen.
Wooten was relegated to the bench with the return of top scorer Edmund Kapllani, before coming on in the 63rd minute. Wooten knew many of the faces in the opposition as he was on loan to Sandhausen last season.
When Wooten entered the match Frankfurt was already down a pair of goals as Ranislav Jovanovic converted on a breakaway in the 27th minute, before Nicky Adler stuffed home a short-range effort in the 44th.
Wooten was on the field for all of three minutes when Jovanovic completed his brace to finish off the scoring by calmly round keeper Oliver Klandt and slotting home.
Wooten will get a shot at his parent club on Sunday when Frankfurt travels to Kaiserslautern.
Stuttgart Kickers 2 - 0 Duisburg
Royal Fennell and Stuttgart claimed all three points by dispatching Duisburg in Saturday 3.Liga action.
Fennell manned his usual position in central defense and went the distance. He saw yellow in the 48th minute; his sixth on the season.
Vincenzo Marchese put the hosts up in the 32nd by converting a spot kick after Randy Edwini-Bosnu was pulled down in the box his marker.
After a host of chances to do so earlier, Stuttgart finally put the game away in the 83rd minute through Sandrino Braun, who connected on a spectacular effort from 27 yards out.
Up next for Fennell and Stuttgart is a road date versus Halle.
John Anthony Brooks was not included in Berlin's gameday squad as the Capital club fell to Leverkusen 2-1.
Matt Taylor was an unused substitute in Münster's 4-2 victory over Rostock.