DAVID SMITH - Thursday, October 29, 2009
The German Cup third round proved disastrous for all participating yanks, as both Kenny Cooper and David Yelldell found themselves on the wrong side of lopsided blowouts.
1860 Munich 0 - 3 FC Schalke 04
Kenny Cooper played just over an hour against Bundesliga team Schalke, but was unable to find his way onto the scoreboard as 1860 Munich was undone by a trio of goals at the Allianz Arena.
The Lions had hoped a bit of cup magic would serve as a foil to their otherwise superbly disappointing season, and were offered the prime chance to make waves as they were pit against Bundesliga powerhouse Schalke on home soil.
They came out after the opening whistle looking like the feisty underdogs, appearing the team more motivated to assert their presence, but ultimately unable to bear their teeth on the attacking end and slowly forced to depend increasingly on long-ball tactics.
The Königsblauen looked increasingly in control of matters and were unlucky not to score on several occasions just past the quarter-hour mark, but finally snatched the opener after 41 minutes when Brazilian defender Rafinha had his 16 yard shot blocked by 1860 keeper Gabor Kiraly, only to immediately pounce on the rebound to bury his six-yarder.
Schalke kept their momentum after the break, doubling their lead in the 48th minute with German U-21 defender Benedikt Höwedes showing some skill inside the penalty area in evading two Lions defenders before nailing his shot on the turn past Kiraly.
Cooper made way in the 55th minute for Peniel Mlapa, but the change made no difference as the visitors continued to attack, and effectively killed any dim hopes of a comeback with nine minutes remaining.
Höwedes was once again the goalscorer, receiving a headed pass near the right post from team captain Heiko Westermann following a corner, and made no mistake to head the ball into the net for the final 3-0 win and another quarterfinal berth for Schalke.
Cooper and his teammates have little time to catch their breath, as they must now prepare for Sunday's visit from second-place FC Kaiserslautern, with the spectre of relegation now hanging over their heads.
While the loss signals the end of Kenny Cooper's participation in this year's DFB Cup, Schalke's Jermaine Jones will almost surely be available for February's quarterfinal round, with the matchups to be revealed over the weekend.
1899 Hoffenheim 4 - 0 TuS Koblenz
David Yelldell went the distance in Koblenz's goal, but the team was powerless to stop the Hoffe as their run through cup ended on Wednesday in the Rhein-Neckar-Arena.
Knowing his relegation-threatened 2. Bundesliga squad would have troubles against the vaunted attack of Hoffenheim, Koblenz coach Uwe Rapolder took a compact defensive approach, which was successful in keeping their hosts frustrated and without any significant chances through the first half.
The second half presented a far different story, with the floodgates coming open beginning at the 50th minute when Sejad Salihovic edged a free kick past Yelldell for the 1-0 lead.
Vedad Ibisevic doubled it 17 minutes later after showing a nice bit of skill to leave two Koblenz defenders in the dust and fire his low shot into goal, then set up the team's third goal four minutes later when he placed a perfect pass to Maicosuel, who evaded Yelldell and put the ball into the empty net.
The dismantling was completed at the end of regulation, with defender Marvin Compper easily finding target with his free header after a corner from Salihovic to send Hoffenheim through to the quarterfinals for the second time in three years.
Koblenz will once again turn their eyes towards rescuing their faltering league campaign, with their next task a visit by MSV Duisburg on Sunday, themselves 5-0 cup losers to FC Augsburg on Tuesday.
Luis Robles backed up starting keeper Tobias Sippel as Kaiserslautern were unable to put a stop to Werder Bremen's vicious attack in their 3-0 loss in the Weserstadion.