DAVID SMITH - Sunday, October 3, 2010
Luis Robles took over goalkeeping duties for Karlsruher for their draw at Ingolstadt while Jermaine Jones saw his day cut short by a pair of yellow cards as Schalke were humbled in Nürnberg.
Hannover 96 0 - 1 FC St. Pauli
Hannover's strong start to the new season took a hit under the lights on Friday night as they were beaten by a single goal by upstarts St. Pauli in front of the home crowd.
Hannover winger DaMarcus Beasley was included on head coach Mirko Slomka's bench, however did not enter the game.
St. Pauli put Hannover on the back heel before they even had time to settle, as Bastian Oczipka and Fabian Boll linked up on the left side of the field, with the former swinging a cross towards goal which Marius Ebbers blasted into goal with a powerful header for the sixth-minute lead.
The visitors remained the more threatening team for the duration of the game, furthering their reputation of being a dangerous road team this season, coming close with a free kick by Matthias Lehmann in the 39th minute and again just before the hour mark as Rouwen Hennings barely missed connecting in front of goal.
Mohammed Abdellaoue was the beneficiary of a cross from Cherundolo just past the hour mark, seeing his header pushed to safety by the St. Pauli keeper before himself accidentally foiling the followup shot by teammate Mortz Stoppelkamp.
Any chance Hannover had of pulling even was put to rest with ten minutes left when Karim Haggui allowed Lehmann past him and free on goal, and was faced with the choice of leaving their slim hopes on keeper Florian Fromlowitz or taking a red card for his team.
Choosing the latter option, the defender pulled Lehmann down on the edge of the area, receiving his marching orders in the process and leaving the Reds left to play a man down for the final lifeless ten minutes of regulation.
Hannover do remain in third place despite the loss, one point ahead of both Leverkusen and Freiburg. They next will visit reigning champions FC Bayern in two weeks following the international break.
Borussia Mönchengladbach 1 - 1 VfL Wolfsburg
Michael Bradley went the distance for the Foals on Saturday, drawing a first-half yellow card as they were able to salvage a point against visiting Wolfsburg.
The visitors came into the game as one of the league's hot teams, having won their last three on the bounce to shake off what had been a hugely disappointing start to the season.
Even though the Foals kept Wolfsburg Diego Benaglio under heavy pressure for the first 20 minutes, they were unfortunate to concede the lead to their visitors just before the half-hour mark.
Midfielder Makoto Hasebe swung in a cross from the right flank, which the Gladbach defense lost in some confusion allowing Thomas Kahlenberg to freely smack in his seven-yard strike for the 27th-minute lead.
Bradley drew his first yellow card of the season four minutes before the halftime break, after which a rejuvenated Foals squad came out and took the initiative to draw even in the 65th minute under somewhat fortunate circumstances.
Juan Arango poorly hit a shot towards goal, however his shanked attempt bounced right to Thorben Marx, who headed past Benaglio to bring Gladbach back into the game.
The Foals continued to push in hopes of snatching the full three points, aided by the insertion of backup Wolfsburg keeper Marvin Hitz for the injured Benaglio with just over 20 minutes remaining, but saw their best efforts thwarted and were forced to settle for the lone point.
The draw pulls the team clear of the relegation zone with their six points giving them a precarious 15th-place standing. They have a two-week break before resuming action on October 17 when they visit Hoffenheim.
FC Nürnberg 2 - 1 FC Schalke 04
Jermaine Jones made an impact for Schalke, albeit a detrimental one, being sent off after 53 minutes for his second yellow card, and watching from the locker room as they returned to their losing ways in Nürnberg on Saturday.
Schalke seemed to have turned a corner in recent weeks, picking up one win and a draw over their previous two league games then handily beating Benfica by a 2-0 margin in midweek Champions League play, but were unable to overcome a lackluster Nürnberg team thanks in part to playing nearly the last 40 minutes of the game a man down.
The blame was clearly not fully on Jones' shoulders, however, as a poor first half by both teams saw an abundance of drab play and a dearth of any significant scoring chances on both ends of the field.
After picking up an early yellow in the 36th minute for a rough tackle on Mehmet Ekici, Jones was given his marching orders by referee Marco Fritz after 53 minutes when he slid hard into Nürnberg keeper Raphael Schäfer, throwing head coach Felix Magath's gameplan into disarray.
The hosts wasted little time in pulling ahead, as Julian Schieber beat Schalke defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos to send a cross towards goal, which Mike Frantz easily drilled past Manuel Neuer for the lead.
Schalke's lone bright spot of the afternoon came with 16 minutes left in regulation thanks to deadline-day purchase Klaas Jan Huntelaar, who furthered his case as the team's only player up to the challenge this season when he received a pass from Jefferson Farfan and made easy work of his shot past backup keeper Alexander Stephan.
Their momentary joy was short-lived, as Andreas Wolf first hit the post on a corner, then moments later headed in a cross from Ekici in the 84th minute to pull out the win for the hosts.
Schalke remain entrenched in the relegation zone, saved from the dubious distinction of last-place only by Stuttgart's own futility. They have two weeks to get their act together before facing Stuttgart in an unlikely battle for the league's basement, in a game which Jones will miss due to his suspension for Saturday's antics.
FC Ingolstadt 04 1 - 1 Karlsruher SC
Luis Robles saw his first league action for Karlsruher SC, assuming starting goalkeeping duties for their draw at Ingolstadt on Friday.
After allowing a league's worst 16 goals through their first six games, Karlsruhe coach Markus Schupp finally made the switch to his new acquisition at keeper, leaving former starter Kristian Nicht on the bench in favor of the American.
Robles rewarded his coach's faith by anchoring one of the team's better defensive performances, saving five of the six shots directed towards his goal to help the team earn a tough point on the road.
Ingolstadt struck first in the 54th minute, when a shot from the edge of the penalty area by Sebastian Hofmann was deflected by Robles straight back to the forward, who drove his low shot to the left corner to put the hosts ahead.
Karlsruher waited until late to equalize when a looping pass into Ingolstadt's area by Michael Mutzel was pushed into the path of Anton Fink by Gaetan Krebs, with Fink's shot from the edge of the box blasted into the lower right corner of Sascha Kirchstein's goal.
The point pulls Karlsruhe up to 12th place, with their next league action in two weeks when they host Bochum.
MSV Duisburg 3 - 0 Rot-Weiß Oberhausen
David Yelldell had another strong afternoon for Duisburg, doing his part to help the team shut out Oberhausen on Friday on the way to a vital win.
Duisburg took the lead moments before the halftime break as Stefan Maierhofer picked up a loose ball just inside the penalty area and blasted a high shot straight ahead to the center of goal, then doubled it four minutes past the restart when he headed in a corner from Filip Trojan.
With the game practically out of reach for Oberhausen, the hosts added an insurance goal with eight minutes remaining in regulation, as Ivica Grlic freed Olcay Sahan into a one-on-one situation with keeper Sören Pirson. Seeing Maierhofer also storming free into the area, the keeper bit on Sahan's fake to the two-goal scorer, leaving his goal open for the young midfielder to easily tap into the net for 3-0.
Yelldell's biggest actions were saved until late in the game, as he was forced to take care of shots from Markus Kaya and Mike Terranova in the 78th and 89th minute, but he was more than up to the task, successfully registering his second shut-out in the league this season.
Duisburg climb to fourth place with the win, and will travel to Bielefeld on the Monday following the international break.
FC Saarbrücken 0 - 0 Rot Weiss Ahlen
Matt Taylor started and played 86 minutes for Ahlen, however the team was unable to muster any goals in a docile scoreless draw at Saarbrücken.
Scoring chances were scant by both teams, with the majority of action in front of goal provided by the hosts, who were trying to avoid their fourth straight draw.
Saarbrücken midfielder Ufuk Özbek provided rare moments of danger for the Ahlen defense in the opening moments then again just after halftime, but failed to put the ball on target.
Taylor had a subdued game for his new team, and was eventually substituted out in favor of hulking center forward Christian Knappmann with four minutes left, although it did little to help Ahlen break the deadlock, with a point awarded to each team at the final whistle.
Ahlen remain on the edge of the relegation zone in 17th place, with their next chance coming after the international break when they host SV Sandhausen.
Daniel Williams was an unused substitute for Freiburg on Saturday as they managed to squeeze by Cologne by a 3-2 margin.
Ricardo Clark was not included on Frankfurt's bench on Sunday for their 2-1 road win over hapless Stuttgart.
Kenny Cooper is recovering from his broken ankle and was not on 1860's bench on Sunday as they took all three points at home with a 1-0 win over Union Berlin.