SCOTT PETERSON - Sunday, September 1, 2013
It was a disappointing weekend for the Americans that featured in the Bundesliga with Fabian Johnson and John Anthony Brooks both starting and going the distance in losing efforts.
VfL Wolfsburg 2 - 0 Hertha Berlin
John Anthony Brooks started for Berlin in a losing effort versus Wolfsburg, falling to two goals right before the break.
A week after an early exit due to a tactical decision by head coach Jos Luhukay, Brooks returned to the starting 11, putting in a full 90 minutes of action.
Berlin defended vehemently throughout the first half and Wolfsburg attacked relentlessly, amassing nearly 80 percent possession in the process. Their dominance, however, did not translate into clear-cut scoring chances until late in the half.
Brazilian defender Naldo found himself on the ball just outside of the box in the 42nd minute, swiftly cut inside past his marker and fired. He pulled his effort wildly to the left, and right into the path of a lurking Ivica Olic. At full stretch, the Croatian got a touch to redirect past keeper Thomas Kraft.
Despite an otherwise solid performance by the big, young American, Brooks will not be happy with his play, as it was his individual error in the 45th minute that led to Wolfsburg's second.
The ball fell to Brooks in the box, where his touch let him down as the ball skipped too far in front of him and into the path of an onrushing Diego. The Brazilian went to ground on the ensuing challenge, duping the referee as the contact appeared minimal at best; Diego converted from the spot for the final score line.
When Bundesliga play resumes after World Cup qualifying in two weeks, Brooks and Berlin host struggling Stuttgart.
VfB Stuttgart 6 - 2 1899 Hoffenheim
Fabian Johnson started and went the distance for Hoffenheim against Stuttgart with the Swabians thrashing Johnson and Co. for their first victory of the year.
Johnson and Hoffenheim were behind the eight ball early as Antonio Rüdiger finished off a quick move by the Swabians with a tap in of Alexandru Maxim's cross in the 12th minute.
It was 2-0 for Stuttgart in the 19th minute thanks to Vedad Ibisevic's header on a Maxim cross. The young Romanian whipped in a cross to the Bosnian and the latter nodded home from five yards out.
Hoffenheim pulled one back seven minutes later as Johnson combined with Tarik Elyounoussi, who laid off for Kevin Volland to redirect into an open net.
Stuttgart, however, wrested back the momentum a mere two minutes later as Maxim turned goal-getter, when debutant Timo Werner picked out the streaking midfielder wide open in front of goal.
The second 45 began the same as the first: with the home team celebrating.
Ibisevic hooked up with Japanese defender Gotoku Sakai for his second in the 47th, before Maxim got back into the act in the 55th with a right-footed shot from distance.
For good measure Ibisevic completed his hat-trick in the 63rd, and the half dozen for Stuttgart, on his second headed goal. Hoffenheim snagged a late consolation goal through Firmino.
After international duty with the USMNT, Johnson will be back in action with Hoffenheim on September 15th versus Borussia Mönchengladbach.
1860 Munich 0 - 2 Sandhausen
An upset ensued in Munich as Bobby Wood as 1860 Munich fell to Sandhausen on Friday, who tasted victory for the first time this season.
Wood put in 45 minutes of second-half action, but was unable to jumpstart the Lions' attack, as they squandered three seemingly certain points at home.
Flat out of the gates, the Lions' never found their stride. After a good ten minutes had elapsed, the guests fired their first warning shot, but wide. Such profligacy would not repeat itself two minutes later.
Timo Achenbach curled a free kick into the box to central defender Florian Hübner. The lanky German needed only make the slightest of contact to score, and stretching his 6‘ 3‘‘ frame to the limit, did just that.
The Lions finally came out of their cage in after 30 minutes were gone to threaten the Sandhausen goal, and repeated the feat in the 36th minute; both attempts, however, lacked the requisite bite.
Sandhausen showed the hosts how it's done five minute before the interval. Julian Schauerte collected a pass on the left flank and had all the time in the world to pick out Ranisav Jovanovic with his cross. The former buried his header past a helpless Gabor Kiraly.
With the loss, Wood and Munich drop to fifth place with nine points. They are away at Aalen after the international break on September 13th.
Dynamo Dresden 1 - 1 FC Ingolstadt
Alfredo Morales and Ingolstadt remained in the basement as they could only muster a point against last place Dresden on Sunday.
Morales and Ingolstadt got off to a brilliant start, finding the back of the net in the 11th minute thanks to Phillip Hofmann, who struck on a spectacular effort from 27 yards that caromed in off the post.
In the 24th minute Christoph Menz bagged an equalizer for Dresden, hitting his effort from 15 yards in off the post.
Both teams had chances to grab a winner, but the best of the bunch fell to Dresden in the 83rd minute and if not for a spectacular save by Andre Weis on Anthony Loslilla's clean shot on goal.
Morales and Ingolstadt are back in action on September 15th against Union Berlin.
SV Elversberg 2 - 2 Preußen Münster
Matt Taylor and Munster continued their sputtering start to the new 3.Liga campaign tying Elversberg on Saturday.
Taylor put in a full day's work in the Munster attack for head coach Pavel Dotchev. Neither will be happy, however, with yet another tie as the Lower Saxons came into the match with a paltry six points from five matches. Further disappointing still is the plethora of scoring chances Munster squandered.
Taylor's striker partner Gaetano Manno struck the woodwork twice, first in the 38th minute, then again in the 40th. A mere 60 seconds later, Munster wasted a glorious opportunity to grab the lead, when Amaury Bischoff failed to convert from the spot.
Shortly thereafter, Angelo Vaccaro made Munster pay for their wastefulness as the Italian latched onto a Nico Zimmerman cross for the lead in the 43rd minute.
Mehmet Kara restored parity in the 47th minute with a well-struck, low shot that finagled its way past Kenneth Kronholm and into the back of the net.
It looked as if Elversberg had grabbed the game winner in the 85th minute when Felix Luz connected and scored, but Munster's Rogier Krohne struck back for the favored guests in the 88th minute to share the spoils.
Munster and Taylor are back in action on Wednesday as they host VfB Stuttgart II.
Jermaine Jones came on late for Schalke, who knocked off Leverkusen 2-0.
Timothy Chandler did not make it off the bench in Nuremberg's 1-0 defeat to Augsburg.