SCOTT PETERSON - Monday, March 24, 2014
Fabian Johnson and Hoffenheim returned to winning ways on Sunday, while John Brooks returned to the starting 11 for Berlin in a losing effort.
Bayer Leverkusen 2 - 3 1899 Hoffenheim
Fabian Johnson pitched in with an assist on a late winner as Hoffenheim heaped more misery on Leverkusen on Sunday.
Johnson got the nod on the right flank for head coach Markus Gisdol, whose side has had trouble plugging holes in the back of late; Hoffenheim has conceded four goals in both of their last two outings.
As Hoffenheim is wont to do, they pressed, hounded and attacked Leverkusen all over the pitch, and the strategy did not take long to bear fruit.
On 14 minutes, Leverkusen's Robert Hilbert was adjudged, very harshly, to have handled the ball in the box. Sehad Salihovic stepped up to the spot and converted sending Bernd Leno the wrong way.
Leverkusen found the first of two equalizers in the 39th minute as Stefan Kießling somehow beat out three defenders to latch onto and head home Emir Spahic's cross.
Hoffenheim did not wait long to find a response.
A minute later Roberto Firmino slipped a cutting through ball past to Kevin Volland that put the young German on the edge of the box with the ball at his feet. The 22-year old still had a lot to do, and did just that taking the ball from his right to his left and curling home an audacious effort inside the far post.
The match was level once again in the 54th minute through Simon Rolfes, who preyed on chaos in the box and reacted first to a backheel from Lars Bender.
With time quickly running out, Johnson struck a precision cross to pick out sub Anthony Modeste, who effortlessly tucked his right-footed shot inside the far post for the winner in the 89th minute.
Up next for Hoffenheim and Johnson is a Wednesday date versus Hannover.
Borussia Mönchengladbach 3 - 0 Hertha Berlin
John Brooks returned to the starting 11 for Berlin in a losing effort as they conceded three first-half goals to Gladbach.
Head coach Jos Luhukay fieled four new players for Berlin after last week's debacle at the hands of Hannover. Brooks got the nod along with Sami Allgui, Aenis Ben-Hatira and Johannes van den Bergh.
All three Gladbach goals fell in a 12-minute span in the first 45.
The action started in the 28th minute as Patrick Hermann set up the first goal by tracking down the ball and crossing for
Juan Arango, who hammered a left-footed effort home that left Berlin keeper Thomas Kraft no chance to parry.
Arango then went from scorer to provider as the Venezuelan picked out Max Kruse in the box and the German connected on a glancing header in the 32nd minute, before Kruse then dropped a dime of his own to set up Raffael for the game's final tally in the 40th minute.
Brooks and Berlin will look to stop their lackluster form when they do battle with Bayern Munich on Tuesday.
FC Sankt Pauli 0 - 0 FC Ingolstadt
Alfredo Morales and FC Ingolstadt were unlucky not to win, but remained unbeaten in their last 10 road matches after drawing with Sankt Pauli.
Morales put in 90 minutes of work in midfield for head coach Ralph Hasenhüttl, who has turned things around for the Bavarians taking them from the bottom of the table to six points clear of the drop zone.
The game's best chance at a goal came in the 41st minute through Collin Quaner, who could only strike the woodwork from close range.
It's a short week for Morales and Ingolstadt as they are back in action on Tuesday when they host VfL Bochum.
Andrew Wooten made a late cameo in FSV Frankfurt's goalless draw versus Düsseldorf.
Matt Taylor came on late for Preußen Münster, who fell 2-0 in 3.Liga action.