RECAP: WEEKEND GERMAN ACTION
Josh Sargent and Werder Bremen earned a crucial win over West McKennie and Schalke while Chris Richards scored the game-winning goal as Bayern Munich II returned to action in the 3. Liga.
Schalke 0-1 Werder Bremen
Werder Bremen was able to hold after scoring the game's only goal in the first half to take a critical three points in their win over Schalke at the Veltins Arena.
Weston McKennie started the game for the Royal Blues and played 55 minutes while Sargent went 70 minutes for Werder.
Both teams entered the game struggling for entirely different reasons. Bremen is in the midst of a relegation battle as they are second from bottom in the standings. On the other end, Schalke has been in freefall mode since the league suspended play weeks ago due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Since play has restarted they have not found any form, thus removing them from contention for a Europa Leauge spot.
Neither team established an advantage in the early stages of the game, but that all changed two minutes past the half-hour mark when Werder Bremen took the lead. Davy Klaassen dispossessed Schalke's Jeanclair Todibo of the ball to launch a counter-attack. Milot Rashica passed the ball onto Leonardo Bittencourt and the German midfield send his bending shot from distance into the back of the net.
The goal didn't deter the host as they had a chance four minutes later to level the score. McKennie was on the spot to head an attempt at goal from a free-kick, but the ball bounced just wide of the mark.
Schalke continued to push for the equalizer in the second half and came close in the 52nd minute on a play started by McKennie. However, Benito Raman's shot was blocked by Bremen goalkeeper Jii Pavlenka.
The rest of the game would provide very few chances, but it didn't matter for Bremen as they bagged the win to give them a much-needed confidence boost in the fight to survive the drop.
Werder Bremen remains in 17th place in the standings with 25 points, three points away from safety. Schalke sits in 10th place with 37 points.
Ingolstadt 1-2 Bayern Munich II
Chris Richards was the hero for Bayern Munich II as his goal late in the game help the Bavarians to the win over Ingolstadt at Audi Sportpark.
The 20-year-old started the game in his usual center-back position and went the distance as the reserves remain very much in the hunt for a promotion spot to the 2. Bundesliga.
The visitors took an early lead in the game when Tim Kern was in the right place at the right time slot home a deflected pass from teammate Jeong Woo-yeong.
Bayern had the upper hand for most of the first half, but could not capitalize on the chances they had to extend their lead.
This allowed Ingolstadt to stay in the game and they rewarded themselves by scoring the equalizer before halftime. Marcel Gaus would get his foot on the ball to steer it home following a corner kick.
That goal lit a spark under the host and they pushed for more in the second half but had trouble putting away the final ball.
The tide would turn in the 88th minute when the Gaus, the goal scorer, was sent off by the referee for a second yellow card due to a bad tackle.
And that was all Bayern needed as Richards stepped up to put away the game-winner. Ingolstadt did poorly to clear away a free-kick, allowing for Okyere Wriedt to cross the ball towards the young American center-back and he sent his powerful header towards the back of the net.
The win moves Bayern Munich II up to fifth place in the standings with 44 points, a single point away from the promotion places.
In other Bundesliga action, Alfredo Morales and Fortuna Dusseldorf were hammered in a 5-0 loss to leaders Bayern Munich, but it did not affect their survival chances as they still sit a point away from safety.
Timothy Chandler and Eintracht Frankfurt slipped past John Brooks and Wolfsburg with a 2-1 win.
Giovanni Reyna played the final 20 minutes for Borussia Dortmund as they cruised to a 6-1 win over relegation-bound Paderborn.
Tyler Adams played 30 minutes as RB Leipzig fended of FC Koln in a 4-2 victory.
In the 2. Bundesliga, Julian Green started while Timothy Tillman came off the bench for Greuther Furth as they shared the points with Darmstadt following a 1-1 tie.
Jann George and Jahn Regensburg had the lead but allowed Osnabruck back into the game as both teams settled for a 2-2 tie.
Down in the 3. Liga, Terrence Boyd came off the bench as Hallescher FC's woes continued as they fell to Preussen Munster in a 4-2 defeat.