RECAP: WEEKEND GERMAN ACTION
The first half of the Bundesliga season wrapped up this weekend with three Americans in Action with only Timothy Chandler and Nuremberg picking up points.
SV Werder Bremen 1 - 1 FC Nürnberg
Timothy Chandler started and went the distance for Nuremberg on Sunday as the Franconians were robbed of two points by Bremen thanks to a late Nils Petersen goal.
Chandler lined up on the right side of defense for head coach Dieter Hecking and Der Club.
Bremen nearly took the lead in the eight minute through Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne, whose left-footed effort was only denied by keeper Rafael Schäffer and the post.
Schäffer was called upon time and time again in the first 45, and the Nuremberg netminder was up to the challenge thwarting chances in the 19th, 34th, 36th and 43rd minutes respectively.
Nuremberg had an excellent chance to snag the lead in the 53rd minute, but Markus Feulner could only direct his header off the hands of keeper Sebastian Mielitz.
Timo Gebhart put the guests ahead in the 82nd minute by curling in a right-footed shot past Mielitz from the edge of the area.
Bremen, however, was not done just yet. Nils Petersen found the back of the net in the 88th minute and, although replays provided conclusive evidence that the German was offsides, the goal counted.
Nuremberg finishes the first half of the season in 14th place with 20 points. When the season resumes, Nuremberg host the Hamburger SV.
1899 Hoffenheim 1 - 3 Borussia Dortmund
Fabian Johnson put in a full day's work versus the reigning Bundesliga champs, as Hoffenheim completed a dismal first half of the season with defeat by Dortmund.
Johnson has been one of the few bright spots for Hoffenheim this year, which is more than can be said about fellow American Daniel Williams, who was excluded from the gameday roster after a poor performance versus Hamburg.
Dortmund drew first blood in the 28th minute through Mario Götze, who let a rocket fly from just inside the box that sailed past Koen Casteels and into the back of the net.
Hoffenheim drew level in the 35th minute as Kevin Volland fed Sven Schipplock in the box with a one-timed pass that found the striker's right boot just a few yards out. Schipplock's effort left keeper Roman Weidenfeller no chance to parry.
Kevin Großkreutz put Dortmund ahead for good in the 58th minute, as the German was picked out by fellow countryman Marco Reus, whose pass left Großkreutz with a tap in from close range.
Dortmund then finished off the scoring in the 66th minute thanks to Polish striker Robert Lewandowski, who rounded keeper Casteels to fire home expertly from a tight angle.
Johnson and Hoffenheim are back in action on January 19th as Hoffenheim host Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Fortuna Dusseldorf 2 - 1 Hannover 96
Steven Cherundolo logged maximum minutes for Hannover on Saturday, but the Lower Saxons fell to Fortuna Dusseldorf.
Cherundolo made his 15th start of the season for Mirko Slomka's Red Devils.
The scoring started in the 38th minute as the hosts took the lead through Dani Schahin, who headed home Leon Balogun's cross past Ron-Robert Zieler, tucking it just inside the far post.
Hannover equalized in the 69th minute on a fantastic strike by Mamé Diouf. The Senegalese goal-getter controlled expertly with his chest and fired one-time past keeper Fabian Giefer from 16 yards out.
With time running out, Fortuna landed a lucky punch to score all three points on Danish midfielder Ken Ilsö's free kick 24 yards from goal.
Hannover will open the second half of the Bundesliga season January 18th versus Schalke.
SV Sandhausen 0 - 0 FC Köln
Andrew Wooten started for Sandhausen in attack against Cologne as both teams had to settle for a point in the last match of 2012.
Wooten made his second start in a row for Sandhausen on Friday, going 85 minutes.
Marco Pischorn came closest to giving the hosts all the spoils in the 72 minute, but his effort off of a Cologne clearance only made it as far as the outside of the right post.
Not to be outdone, Cologne also struck the woodwork. Christian Clemens' long range effort had keeper Daniel Ischdonat beaten, but could only rattle the left post.
With the point, Sandhausen remain in 17th place with 15 points. Wooten and Sandhausen are back in action on February 1st, when they face Union Berlin.
Jermaine Jones served game one of a four-match ban following last week's red card; Schalke fell to Freiburg at home 3-1 and head coach Huub Stevens was subsequently fired.
Joseph Gyau was a late-game sub for Saint Pauli who tied Ingolstadt 0-0.
Matt Taylor served game three of a three match ban as Munster dropped last place Darmstadt 3-0.