RECAP: WEEKEND GERMAN ACTION
Jermaine Jones and Schalke continued their winning ways, while Fabian Johnson, Daniel Williams and Hoffenheim gave it their best effort in a home loss to leaders Bayern Munich.
1899 Hoffenheim 0 - 1 FC Bayern Munich
Fabian Johnson and Daniel Williams came up short in a spirited effort for Hoffenheim versus league leaders Bayern Munich in Sunday Bundesliga action.
Johnson and Williams both started and went the distance for embattled head coach Marko Kurz; Hoffenheim has a measly four points from their last ten matches.
Despite being heavy underdogs, Hoffenheim put in an inspired performance making Munich work for everything. Even the much maligned Hoffenheim attack showed a threat on several occasions. The hosts came closest to scoring in the 17th minute, but Williams' long-distance effort sailed just wide.
As expected, Munich began to control proceedings the further the match wore on. With their first chance in the contest, Munich snatched the eventual game winner in the 38th minute.
Defender Jerome Boetang intercepted an errant Hoffenheim pass at the center line, before lofting a cross to Franck Ribery down the left attacking third. The French winger headed the ball directly back across the face of goal to Mario Gomez, who chested down and then toe poked the ball over the line.
Hoffenheim continued to fight, but were hindered from creating any clear-cut scoring chances by inaccurate final passes.
Hoffenheim can take solace in the fact that they gave Munich all they could handle, despite falling for the fourth consecutive match.
Next week is a six-point contest for Hoffenheim and its American duo, as they travel to Bavaria to take on last place Greuther Fürth.
VfL Wolfsburg 1 - 4 Schalke 04
Jermaine Jones started and put in a full day's work for Schalke as they destroyed Wolfsburg on Saturday.
Jones made his fourth start in a row in the Schalke midfield; however, the German-American picked up his fifth yellow in the 74th minute and will miss next week's derby versus Dortmund.
Both teams squandered clear-cut goal scoring chances in the early going with Klaas Jan Huntelaar meeting his master in Diego Benaglio in the fifth minute and Wolfburg's Simon Kjaer slamming his header against the crossbar in the 15th minute.
Schalke grabbed the lead in the 33rd minute through Julian Draxler, who received a pass from Marco Höger before volleying home past Benaglio for the opener.
The hosts equalized shortly after the break as Ivica Olic was johnny on the spot to nudge the ball over the line from less than a yard after keeper Timo Hildebrand did well to keep out Jan Polak's initial effort in the 50th minute.
Jones set up Schalke's second in the 63rd, laying off to Draxler. Draxler then deeked right, took a step left and then fired home with a low left-footed shot from the edge of the box.
Schalke put the game to bed in the 79th minute as the guests hit the hosts on the counter attack. Once again Draxler was in the middle of it sprinting with the ball into the box, before sliding the ball over to Jefferson Farfan, who made no mistake beating Benaglio one-time.
Huntelaar then added one more in the 86th minute as the Dutch striker overpowered his marker to create space and let a rocket fly past Benaglio.
Schalke has now won two in a row to vault themselves into sixth place, just two back of a qualification spot for next season's Champion's League. Schalke host arch rivals Borussia Dortmund next Saturday.
1860 Munich 1 - 1 FC Ingolstadt
Bobby Wood came on at half time for Munich, who squandered a lead to tie with Ingolstadt in the Bavarian derby Sunday.
Wood entered the match for the start of the second 45 for Moritz Stoppelkamp.
Munich took the lead in the 27th minute. Benny Lauth danced his way into space down the right flank and sent in a cross to the far post where Marin Tomasov was waiting to find the back of the net with a powerful left-footed volley.
The guests equalized against the run of play late on as Christian Eigler latched onto a Danny da Costa cross to beat keeper Gabor Kiraly in the 79th minute.
With the point, Munich now has 34 points and sits in seventh place. Up next is a Friday road date versus Sandhausen.
Jahn Regensburg 1 - 3 SV Sandhausen
Andrew Wooten and Sandhausen knocked off cellar dwellers Regensburg in an important relegation scrap in Germany's second flight.
Wooten put in 73 minutes of work in the Sandhausen attack before giving way for Daniel Beichler.
Sandhausen took the lead in the 30th minute as Seyi Olajengbesi thumped home a rebound off of a free kick from a couple of yards out.
Regensburg equalized in the 42nd minute through Carlinhos, who tucked home a Markus Smarzoch cross from five yards out with a one-timed right-footed shot.
Sandhausen only needed three minutes to regain the advantage as Frank Löning converted an impressive volleyed effort from the edge of the area with his left.
The guests put the game away in the second minute of second-half stoppage time after Alexander Riemann converted on the counter attack with a cool and calculated shot that wrong-footed keeper Timo Ochs.
Preußen Münster 3 - 1 Osnabrück
Matt Taylor started for Munster, who got the better of bitter rivals Osnabrück on Saturday thanks to a hat trick by Mehmet Kara.
Taylor put in 78 minutes of work, before he was subbed off for Marco Königs.
Dennis Krote picked out Kara in the 12th minute, who got behind the Osnabrück lines, chested down and fired home inside the far post for the lead.
Just seven minutes later, Kara got the ball behind the Osnabrück ranks again, with Amaury Bischoff this time playing provider. Kara then rounded keeper Manuel Riemann and rolled the ball in to an empty net.
Kara then grabbed a natural hat trick by dribbling past two defenders in the box, before chipping keeper Riemann in the 26th minute for the 3-0 lead.
Osnabrück pulled one back in the 39th minute as Simon Zoller was able to finagle a left-footed shot past Daniel Mausch from close range to round out the game's scoring.
Taylor and Munster are back in action on Saturday as they take on Arminia Bielefeld on the road.
Darmstadt 1 - 2 Halle
Preston Zimmerman and Darmstadt squandered a lead versus Halle to continue their decent towards relegation.
Zimmerman put in a full 90 minutes of work for the Lilies.
The hosts took the lead in the 12th minute as Benjamin Baier's corner found central defender Aytac Sulu, who headed home for his first goal of the season.
Timo Furuholm equalized for the guests in the 59th minute by heading home a cross past keeper Jan Zimmermann.
Halle then broke the hearts of the Lily faithful in the second minute of second-half stoppage time as Dennis Mast found the back of the net with a long-range shot.
Up next for Zimmerman and Darmstadt is a road date in Stuttgart against VfB II.
Timothy Chandler was suspended for Nürnberg's 1-1 tie at home against Freiburg after picking up yellow number five a week ago.
Michael Parkhurst was not named to the matchday squad for Augsburg's road victory against struggling Bremen as the American is still recovering from a nasty bout of the flu.