RECAP: GERMAN WEEKEND ACTION
Steve Cherundolo and Jermaine Jones both tasted victory in impressive comebacks for Hannover and Schalke, while Fabian Johnson and Daniel Williams picked up a point with Hoffenheim.
Schalke 04 2 - 1 Werder Bremen
It was a tale of two halves in Gelsenkirchen on Saturday, as Jermaine Jones and Schalke came from behind to take all three points against Bremen.
Jones got the nod from head coach Huub Stevens once again, as the American paired up with Roman Neustädter in the Schalke midfield.
Bremen grabbed a deserved lead in the 16th minute through Aaron Hunt. The German took a feed from Zlatko Junuzovic into space in the left side of the box and hammered a left-footed shot past the outstretched arms of keeper Lars Unnerstall.
Bremen nearly added to their lead in both the 30th and 32nd minutes but Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Kevin de Bruyne were denied by the crossbar.
With the onset of the second half, Stevens brought on Julian Draxler for Ibrahim Affelay. The substitution paid dividends as the young midfielder was the catalyst for Schalke's reversal of fortune.
In the 59th minute Schalke pulled even as Christian Fuchs picked out Neustädter in the box, and the German midfielder made no mistake, putting his header past Bremen keeper Sebastian Mielitz.
Draxler then gave the home team the lead in the 69th minute. Jones found the 18 year old in space in the the box and Draxler placed a gorgeous effort into the top corner for the game winner.
Schalke and Jones remain in second place, seven points back of leaders Bayern Munich. Up next for the Königsblauen is a trip to Bayer Leverkusen this Saturday night.
Fortuna Düsseldorf 1 - 1 1899 Hoffenheim
Daniel Williams and Fabian Johnson picked up a hard earned point on Saturday, as Hoffenheim overcame Marvin Compper's double booking against Düsseldorf.
Williams and Johnson were picked to start once again by head coach Markus Babbel; the duo put in a full 90 minutes of action.
Düsseldorf grabbed a quick lead in the fourth minute thanks to Tim Wiese whiffing on his clearance attempt of Ronny Garbuschewski's free kick. Robbie Kruse had a clear header and the Australian buried it from close range.
Hoffenheim snagged an equalizer before the break, also profiting from shoddy defending. Tobias Level misjudged a cross to hand Spanish goal getter Joselu an absolute sitter, which the striker easily converted in the 39th minute.
Hoffenheim was then reduced to ten in the 51st minute after Compper pulled down Kruse from behind for his second booking of the day.
Despite being a man down, Hoffenheim had the better chances in the remainder of the game. Joselu nearly grabbed a winner in the 61st minute, but was thwarted by the post.
Up next for Johnson, Williams and Hoffenheim is a home match against VfL Wolfsburg on Sunday.
VfB Stuttgart - Hannover 96
Steve Cherundolo started for Hannover 96, as the Lower Saxons found the back of the net four times in the span of 16 second half minutes to erase a two-goal deficit versus Stuttgart on Sunday.
Cherundolo captained head coach Mirko Slomka's Hannover on Sunday, putting in 82 minutes of hard work on the right flank.
Stuttgart got on the board in the 21st minute, when Christian Gentner collected the ball to the left of Ron-Robert Zieler's goal. The Swabian sized up the keeper, before coolly slotting home with his right boot.
Vedad Ibesivic then doubled the home team's lead in the 37th minute by converting a spot kick, after Szabolcs Huszti brought down Gentner in the box.
At the break, Slomka brought on Jan Schlaudraff for the ineffective Hustzi. The move paid off as Hannover appeared to be a completely new team in act two.
Lars Stindl set up the opener for Hannover as the winger stripped Stuttgart's Arthur Boka, before crossing hard and low into the box for Arthur Sobeich. Stuttgart keeper Sven Ulreich got a finger to it, but couldn't keep it from its intended destination and Sobeich tapped home in the 57th to make it 2-1.
In the 65th, Hannover tied things up as Schlaudraff converted a spot kick, before the Lower Saxons completed the comeback three minutes later.
Mohammed Abdellaoue, who had just come on in the 66th minute, put home a rebound off of a Mamé Diouff shot in the 68th and then added a second from the spot five minutes later after Boka brought down Stindl in the area.
Deflated and defeated, Stuttgart failed to pose a true threat in the match's closing minutes, as Hannover picked up a tough victory.
Cherundolo and Hannover are back in Bundesliga action on Saturday when they host SC Freiburg.
Mainz 05 2 - 1 FC Nürnberg
Timothy Chandler and Nuremberg continued their struggles, succumbing to two first half strikes within ten minutes versus Mainz in Friday-night Bundesliga action.
Chandler went the distance for Nuremberg, who has won just twice in their last ten matches.
Mainz opened the scoring in the 12th minute as winger Nicolai Müller outmuscled Marvin Plattenhardt, nutmegged Timm Klose, before finally blasting a shot far-post past keeper Patrick Rakovsky.
Austrian striker Andreas Ivanschitz upped his season goal tally to three in the 21st minute, profiting from Julian Baumgartner's defense-unlocking pass. Ivanschitz then maneuvered around keeper Rakovsky to slot home with the outside of his left boot.
Nuremberg pulled to within one in the 40th minute through center half Per Nilsson, who rose higher than his marker to head home Hiroshi Kiyotake's free kick.
Both teams were up to the challenge in the second half, with both seeing excellent chances go begging.
The best of bunch fell to Mainz and Oliver Kirchhof in the 57th minute, but his thunderous header was kept out by the crossbar.
The second half failed to produce any goals, and Mainz claimed all three points.
Chandler and Nuremberg sit in 15th place with a meager 11 points. In their next match, the Franconians host the league leaders in red-hot Bayern Munich.
Sandhausen 1 - 6 Hertha Berlin
Andrew Wooten scored for Sandhausen, but his team was reduced to ten men and beaten decisively at home by Hertha Berlin on Friday.
Wooten put in just over 30 minutes of work for Sandhausen, coming on in the 62nd for Nico Klotz.
Berlin first struck in the 28th minute, as Colombian striker Adrian Ramos converted Marcel Ndjeng's corner from the right with a thumping header.
In the 35th minute, Berlin midfielder Ronny sent in a floating free kick into the box from 40 some yards out. Michael Langer could only punch it into Peter Niemeyer's back, before watching it trickle over the line and into goal to put Berlin up 2-0.
In the 65th minute, Berlin's Nico Schulz was in behind the defense with only keeper Langer to beat. The latter brought down the former in the box, for a straight red and a penalty. Ronny stepped up and converted to make it 3-0.
Wooten gave the hosts a glimmer of hope in the 75th minute, as the American converted Alexander Riemann's cross with a slick one-time finish with the outside of his right boot to pull one back for Sandhausen.
Berlin then emphatically put the game away in the game's final 10 minutes.
Sami Allagui beat his man to the ball in the box, making no mistake from five yards out in the 81st minute, while Ndjeng and Ben Sahar each scored with chances in the 89th and 90th minutes respectively to round off the rout.
Wooten and Sandhausen will look to get back into the win column next week when they travel to VfL Bochum on Sunday.
Stuttgart Kickers 0 - 2 Preußen Münster
Matt Taylor and Munster got another win on Saturday, this time taking down the Stuttgart Kickers.
Taylor played the entire 90 minutes for Munster and head coach Pavel Dotchev; Royal Dominique Fennell was an unused substitute for Stuttgart.
Dima Nazarov gave Munster a dream start scoring after just three minute had elapsed. Nazarov opened his account after Stuttgart keeper Daniel Wagner failed to decisively handle a corner, pouncing and converting from five yards out.
Munster then bookended the game in the 84th minute as substitute Addy Menga fired home from close range with a right-footed effort.
With the victory, Munster now has 35 points and sits in second place in the 3.Liga. Up next for Taylor and Munster is a home date versus Unterhaching on Saturday.
Karlsruhe SC 2 - 0 SV Darmstadt
Preston Zimmerman put in an hour's worth of work for Darmstadt against Karlsruhe on Saturday in a losing effort.
Zimmerman started up top for the Lilies, but failed to add any impetus to the Hessian attack and squandered a golden opportunity to test Karlsruhe keeper Dirk Orlishausen in the 19th minute.
The goals came late in the Wildparkstadion on Saturday. Koen van der Biezen fed Rouwen Hennings in the 75th minute with a cutting pass through the Darmstadt defense. The German did not hesitate, blasting a left-footed effort into the upper 90 from the edge of the area.
The match was all but over two minutes later as Darmstadt's center half Danny Latza headed Hakan Calhanoglu's corner into his own goal.
Darmstadt and Zimmerman are now in 18th place with a paltry 14 points from 17 games. Zimmerman and the Lilies are back in action next Sunday against Erfurt.
David Yelldell backed up Michael Rensing for Leverkusen on Sunday, who fell 3-1 to Wolfsburg.