MATHEW WAGNER - Sunday, February 1, 2015
With the return of German soccer, plenty of Americans were in action, including a rare start for Fabian Johnson in a Mönchengladbach win.
SC Freiburg 4 - 1 Eintracht Frankfurt
Tim Chandler and Eintracht Frankfurt fell apart in the second half in a loss at Freiburg on Saturday.
Chandler started his ninth consecutive match at right back for the Adler and went the distance. The American fullback recorded his fifth yellow card of the season in the 53rd minute, meaning he will be suspended for Frankfurt's next match.
Frankfurt needed a whole 38 seconds to find the opening goal, scoring off a standard situation. Marc Stendera launched a free kick from the right side toward the back post, where Marco Russ managed to outrun his marker and use his right foot to poke it into the back of the net.
The Adler enjoyed that lead until the second half, when the home team scored two goals in a three-minute span to take a lead. It started in the 62nd minute, when Stefan Aigner fouled Jonathan Schmid in the box, and Vladimir Darida stepped up to convert it. Then, in the 64th minute, Felix Klaus sent in a cross from the right wing into the 18-yard box, where Nils Petersen met it with his left foot from 15 yards out to put the Breisgau-Brazilians on top.
Frankfurt's capitulation continued in the 70th minute, when Petersen scored again. Mike Frantz blew past three Eintracht players on the left wing, including Chandler, and crossed to the 26-year-old German striker in the six-yard box for the headed goal.
In the 88th minute, Petersen completed a hat-trick on a counterattack. Schmid launched yet another cross into the box that Petersen headed toward net, only for the ball to bounce off the right post, but Petersen poked the rebound into the back of the net for the last action of the match.
Despite the loss, Frankfurt held onto ninth place in the Bundesliga, and the Adler next host Wolfsburg on Tuesday.
VfB Stuttgart 0 - 1 Borussia Mönchengladbach
Fabian Johnson and Mönchengladbach kept pace in the race for a Champions League spot with a narrow win in Stuttgart on Saturday.
Johnson started on the left side of the midfield for coach Lucien Favre and played the full 90 minutes.
Mönchengladbach enjoyed a majority of the possession in the first half, but the Fohlen couldn't create much of note, as the match went into the break goalless. Stuttgart came out in the second half looking dangerous, having multiple good goal-scoring opportunities, but the Schwaben, too, couldn't find the back of the net.
That all changed in the 71st minute, when the Fohlen broke the deadlock. Branimir Hrgota placed a long, low diagonal pass from the left into the path of Patrick Hermann, and right winger wrong-footed Stuttgart goalkeeper with his 12-yrd shot that went into the left side of the net.
Stuttgart almost equalized in the first minute of extra time, as the Schwaben pushed forward. Georg Niedermeier hammered a shot from five yards out that hit the bottom of the crossbar but somehow didn't go over the line.
With the win, Gladbach will be in third place heading into Tuesday's match against Freiburg.
SV Werder Bremen 2 - 0 Hertha BSC
John Anthony Brooks and Hertha BSC's position in the standings took a big hit when they lost to fellow relegation candidate Bremen on Sunday.
Brooks started at left center back for the Old Lady, as it tried a three-man backline on the road and looked to hit Bremen on the counter. While they got plenty of opportunities to coutnerattack, the Berliners couldn't put it all together.
Bremen, meanwhile, took 11 shots with one of them finding the back of the net right before the break. Theodore Gebre Selassie charged forward in the center of the park and passed to Franco di Santo on the right wing, with the Argentinian managing to squeak a shot from an acute angle inside the left post.
It didn't get any better for Hertha in the second half, especially when Bremen doubled its lead in the 69th minute. Davie Selke won the ball in the midfield and passed to Clemens Fritz, who got behind on the right wing before crossing beyond the far post. Di Santo volleyed the ball straight into the ground there, and the ball bounced past Hertha goalkeeper Thomas Kraft and inside the right post.
From that point, Bremen cruised to the three points. With the loss, the Old Lady dropped into 15th place, just one point above the relegation zone, and the team hosts Leverkusen on Wednesday.
Holstein Kiel 1 - 1 VfB Stuttgart II
In a match where both teams used up everything in the first half, Jerome Kiesewetter and Stuttgart II drew at Kiel on Saturday.
Kiesewetter started and went the distance as right midfielder for the Schwaben.
It didn't take very long for either team to find the back of the net. Kiel was the first team to score, as in the eighth minute, Manuel Schäffler completed a Stork counter. Stuttgart II needed less than one minute to answer, which Borys Tashchy wrong-footing Kiel keeper Kenneth Kronholm on a counter to equalize.
For the rest of the opening half an hour, the match continued to have a hectic tempo, and both teams had multiple opportunities to add to their goal totals, only to fail at the final moment. After the 30th minute, though, the action cooled off until the second half. Kiel's Marc Heider had a pair of chanced early in the second half, but his shots missed.
Nothing much of note happened after the 56th minute, and the teams split the points. The Schwaben moved into 14th place and will return to action next Saturday against Wehen Wiesbaden.
Julian Green didn't dress for Hamburg in the Dino's 2-0 loss to Köln.
Royal-Dominique Fennell came off the bench for the final two minutes of the Stuttgarter Kickers' 3-2 win over Mainz II on Sunday.
Joe Gyau missed Dortmund II's 3-0 loss to Regensburg on Saturday as he deals with a knee injury.