SCOTT PETERSON - Monday, January 27, 2014
Timothy Chandler help lead Nuremberg to their first victory of the season over Fabian Johnson and Hoffenheim, while Johnson was forced off early with a severe hand injury.
FC Nuremberg 4 - 0 1899 Hoffenheim
Timothy Chandler started and scored, as he and Nuremberg finally got their first win of the season, doing so in an impressive dismantling of Fabian Johnson and Hoffenheim.
Both Americans featured in their respective starting 11. Chandler went the distance, while Johnson was taken off at the break after suffering a metacarpal break on his right hand; Jeremy Toljan replaced the American at left back.
There has been no timetable for Johnson's return, but his availability for the US friendly versus the Ukraine in March would appear to be in jeopardy.
Nuremberg and Hoffenheim came out with their proverbial guns blazing as chances were had, and squandered, on both sides in the first 20 minutes. And it was Johnson who came closest, missing by mere inches in the 19th minute.
While Johnson surely felt unlucky, his American counterpart could hardly believe his luck. Chandler's long-range grass burner took a deflection off of Hoffenheim's Jannik Vestergaard and skidded past Koen Casteels to make it 1-0 after 23 minutes were gone.
It was two shortly before the break as Hoffenheim's defense played a part once again. This time Niklas Süle was the guilty party as he headed Marvin Plattenhardt's free kick right to the feet of Josip Drmic and the Swiss striker easy punched the ball past Casteels in the 41st minute.
Daniel Ginczek made it three for the hosts right after the interval, taking and converting a cutting through ball from Mike Frantz in the 49th minute, before Drmic added his second, Nuremberg's fourth and final, with a slick finish in the box, chesting down Kiyotake's cross and whipping the ball home with his right in the 70th.
Up next for Chandler and Nuremberg is a Sunday trip to the German capital to face Hertha Berlin, while Johnson's Hoffenheim teammates will look to put their dismal opener behind them as they host struggling Hamburg on Saturday.
Holstein Kiel 0 - 0 Stuttgart Kickers
Royal Dominique Fennell started for Stuttgart, who earned a point versus fellow strugglers Kiel.
Fennell played all 90 minutes for the Kickers, who had to make the long journey from southern Germany to do battle as temperatures approached freezing.
Neither team was able to generate much in the way of offensive highlights, partially due to the weather and partially due to the relative quality in the ranks of the 15th and 17th placed teams respectively.
The game's best chance at a goal came on the hour mark and fell to Stuttgart. However, Elia Soriano slammed his effort off the post, before Marco Calamita drove his effort right into the outstretched arms of Kiel keeper Niklas Jakusch.
Up next for Fennell and Stuttgart is a Saturday home date versus Elversberg.
Rot-Weiß Erfurt 0 - 0 Preußen Munster
Matt Taylor started for Munster on Saturday, putting in just under an hour of work on a cold, snowy German day.
Taylor made his presence known in the seventh minute connecting on a header, but the Ohio native was unable to find the target.
The best chance of the match came in the game's waning moments through Marcus Piossek, whose long-range blast beat everyone, including keeper Phillip Klewin, only to be denied by the post in the 83rd minute.
Taylor and Munster are back in action on Saturday versus Wehen Wiesbaden.
Steve Cherundolo missed Hannover's impressive 3-1 victory over Wolfsburg with an undisclosed knee injury, but he did take part in a test match yesterday indicating that he should be fit for next week's clash with Borussia Mönchengladbach.
John Anthony Brooks is out indefinitely with a knee sprain picked up in training. Berlin lost their Bundesliga tie to Frankfurt 1-0.
Jermaine Jones is still n the books in Schalke, although his exit is only a matter of time. Schalke spanked Hamburg 3-0 on Sunday.