SCOTT PETERSON - Monday, April 1, 2013
Timothy Chandler and Nuremberg battled back for a point versus Wolfsburg, while Daniel Williams and Fabian Johnson continued their fall down the standings with Hoffenheim.
Schalke 04 3 - 0 1899 Hoffenheim
Daniel Williams and Fabian Johnson each started for relegation-threatened Hoffenheim on Saturday falling to the Jermaine Jones-less Schalke on Saturday.
Johnson returned to the starting lineup after missing the previous three contests with an injury, while for Daniel Williams it was his fourth start in a row.
Jermaine Jones was absent on the other side of the ball as the Schalke midfielder continued to recover from a gash on his foot picked up in the US victory over Costa Rica.
Despite putting Hoffenheim under immense pressure from the start, Schalke had to wait until late in the second 45 to find a breakthrough.
With Hoffenheim beginning to press the attack, Johnson lost possession in the attacking third and Schalke was off on the counter attack. Jefferson Farfan eventually found Marco Höger on the edge of the Hofffenheim box and the German wrong footed keeper Hercules Gomez to make it 1-0 in the 70th minute.
After falling behind, Hoffenheim was forced to get even greater numbers forward. Schalke made Hoffenheim pay with clinical finishing.
Brazilian substitute Rafael finished from close range in the 79th after some fancy combination play to double Schalke's lead. Then the Brazlian hooked up with fellow substitute Teemo Pukki to finish off the game by assisting the Finn on his goal in the 83rd minute.
With the loss, Hoffenheim remains four points back of safety as Augsburg fell to Hannover. Hoffenheim is back in action on Friday taking on Düsseldorf at home; Jones and Schalke host Bremen on Saturday.
VfL Wolfsburg 2 - 2 FC Nürnberg
Timothy Chandler put in 90 minutes of action for Nuremberg as the Franconians came back from two goals down to snatch a point from Wolfsburg.
It was Chandler's third start in a row for head coach Michael Wiesinger.
Wolfsburg got off to a flying start as Brazilian talisman Diego curled in a spectacular free kick from 21 yards out that sailed around the wall and past the outstretched arms of keeper Rafael Schäffer after just five minutes had elapsed.
The hosts one-upped themselves in the spectacular goal category as Croatian goal-getter Ivica Olic struck magnificently in the 27th minute, taking a feed on the right flank, cutting in to his left and blasting a left-footed shot that just snuck in the far post.
Nuremberg then made their contribution in the game of can you top this, with Timmy Simons pulling the Franconians within a goal in the 61st, connecting on an fantastic volley from 26 yards out with his right foot that whipped, sliced and sunk past keeper Diego Benaglio.
Emboldened by the goal, Nuremberg drew level just five minutes later when Per Nilsson headed home Hiroshi Kiyotake's free kick to round off the day's scoring.
Up next for Chandler and Nuremberg is a Sunday home contest versus Mainz.
Sandhausen 1 - 1 Kaiserslautern
Andrew Wooten and Sandhausen scored an important point in their relegation fight, while simultaneously delivering a blow to Kaiserslautern's promotion aspirations.
Wooten put in 60 solid minutes up front for Sandhausen, who fell behind early before clawing back late thanks to an own goal by Kaiserslautern keeper Tobias Sippel.
The guests took the lead in the 18th minute through Mohammed Idrissou, who outleapt three Sandhausen defenders to loop in a header from close range.
Kaiserslautern was unfortunate not to have doubled their advantage in the 52nd minute, but Alexander Baumjohan was thwarted by the woodwork after beating keeper Daniel Ischdonat.
Despite a determined effort, Sandhausen was unable to piece together any real threat to Sippel's goal.
In the 60th minute, they finally broke through the right flank as Alexander Riemann beat Chris Löwe to make a driving run to the touchline. The striker sent in a hard cross that Sippel fisted into his own goal to bring the two teams level.
The point puts Sandhausen within a point of Dresden and a relegation playoff spot, while Kaiserslautern fell to fourth. Up next for Wooten and Sandhausen is a Sunday date against MSV Duisburg.
Erzgebirge Aue 0 - 1 1860 Munich
Bobby Wood saw some second-half playing time for Munich as the Bavarians knocked off Aue thanks to a first-half strike by Rob Friend.
Wood began the match on the pine, before coming on in the 59th minute for Marin Tomasov.
Munich came into the match with an outside chance of making a late-season push at a relegation playoff spot with five points to make up on Kaiserslautern over the final seven matches.
In the 18th minute the guests from southern Germany grabbed the game's only goal as Canadian striker Rob Friend nodded home Moritz Stoppelkamp's cross past Aue keeper Martin Männel.
With the point Munich remains five points back of third place, which is now occupied by Cologne. Wood and Munich host Energie Cottbus on Sunday.
Arminia Bielefeld 0 - 0 Darmstadt
Preston Zimmerman started for Darmstadt as the Lilies plucked a point versus Bielefeld.
Zimmerman put in 90 minutes of work for Darmstadt, who remain in the thick of a relegation battle.
The game's only real chance was produced by a goal-keeping error in the 66th minute. Dany Latzka had a go from 30 yards out, keeper Patrick Platins misjudged it and could only just beat it forward. Striker Freddy Borg had an open look at goal, but was only able to miss the target.
The miss and the ensuing point, despite putting Darmstadt currently two points clear of the dropzone, could prove costly as the trailing teams have anywhere from two to three games in hand.
Zimmerman and Darmstadt host Aachen on Saturday.
Matt Taylor came on late in the second half of Munster's goalless tie versus Dortmund II.