KENYA BROWN - Monday, September 23, 2019
Zack Steffen put in a man of the match performance for Fortuna Dusseldorf in a losing effort while Weston McKennie and Schalke snatched a win to move them up the Bundesliga ladder.
Borussia Monchengladbach 2-1 Fortuna Dusseldorf
Zack Steffen made nine saves, but Marcus Thurman scored two late goals to help Borussia Monchengladbach complete their come-from-behind win over Fortuna Dusseldorf at Borussia Park.
Steffen was the lone American to see action on the day as he played between the posts for Dusseldorf in a game they should have at least came away with a point. Alfredo Morales and Fabian Johnson did not dress due to injuries.
The Foals would find themselves a goal down just six minutes into the contest when Dusseldorf's Kasim Nuhu headed the ball into the goal. However, there was question as to whether it had comepletely crossed the line. A review from VAR confirmed that ball had indeed crossed over allowing Nuhu to celebrate his first goal of the season.
Then it would be all up to Steffen to make sure the score remained as it stood as he made some spectacular saves on the day.
He would be called in to make a save in the 10th minute when Breel Embolo was released into the area with a through-ball and the netminder would be on the spot to clear away the danger. Steffen came up trumps again minutes later when he made a double save on efforts from the Swiss international.
Steffen continued his fine play in the second half as he once again made a huge save just eight minutes in. Ozcar Wendt's cross from the left side found teammate Patrick Herrmann who steered the ball goal bound, but the former Columbus Crew man was there as the ball came bouncing off his shoulder and back into play.
All the heroics of Steffen could not stop the host in the end as they finally found the equalizer in the 74th minute. Stefan Lainer's low cross into the area from the right found Thurman as he slotted the ball past Steffen.
The Frenchman scored the game-winner three minutes from time when a scramble for the ball in the area, and another wonderous save from Steffen, allowed him to pounce on the loose ball and hammer home to the delight of the Monchengladbach fans.
The win sees Monchengladbach move up to sixth place in the standings with 10 points, while Dusseldorf sits in 12th with four.
A last-minute goal ensured Schalke all three points in their win over Mainz at the Veltins Arena.
Weston McKennie started for the Royal Blues and played 76 minutes in a game that showed that they have made steady improvements from their performance in the Bundesliga last season.
It was quiet 30 minutes, but the host would finally break the deadlock when Suat Serdar was in the right place to collect a pass from Amine Harit and fire his shot past Mainz goalkeeper Robin Zentner to give his team the lead.
Schalke carried on with that momentum and came very close to doubling their lead before halftime when Guido Burgstaller's acrobatic kick in the area sailed just wide of the goal.
However, Mainz would not be deterred and leveled the score in the 74th minute when Karim Onisiwo took a pass from Jean-Paul Boetius, made a quick turn and put his curling shot in the back of the net well beyond the outstretched hands of Schalke goalkeeper Alexander Nubel.
The host would have the last say in the game in the 89 minute when Harit darted into the area with ball to fire a right-footed shot past Zentner and into the goal.
The win moves Schalke up to fifth place in the standings with 10 points.
Elsewhere in the Bundesliga, Josh Sargent started but could not get on the score sheet as Werder Bremen fell to RB Leipzig in a 3-0 loss.
Timmy Chandler came off the bench for Eintracht Frankfurt as an own goal helped them to salvage a point in a 2-2 tie with Borussia Dortmund.
In the 2. Bundesliga, Julian Green started for Greuther Furth as they were blanked by his former team VfB Stuttgart in a 2-0 loss.
Bobby Wood came off the bench for Hamburg as they cruised to a 4-0 win over Erzgebirge Aue.
Down in the 3. Liga, Terrence Boyd started for Hallescher FC as the former league leaders had to settle for a point following their 2-2 tie with Preussen Munster.
Chris Richards started for Bayern Munich II as the Bavarians came away with a 2-1win over Ingolstadt.
McKinze Gaines came off the bench for Sonnenhof Grossaspach in their 2-0 loss to Unterhaching.