DAVID SMITH - Thursday, December 23, 2010
David Yelldell will likely be the only American to participate in the DFB Cup quarterfinals as Duisburg beat Cologne while both Borussia Mönchengladbach and Eintracht Frankfurt suffered defeats.
1899 Hoffenheim 2 - 0 Borussia Mönchengladbach
Michael Bradley overcame an ankle knock to take his place in the Foals' starting lineup, however the team was unable to overcome a pair of goals by Hoffenheim on Tuesday evening.
After a horrible first half to the season, Gladbach were hoping for some redemption in the form of a place in the quarterfinals, however yet another subpar performance once again left them on the wrong side of the scoreline.
Following a foul by Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker on Hoffenheim forward Demba Ba in the 35th minute, Gylfi Thor Sigurdsson put the hosts ahead with a looping 22-yard free kick that left Gladbach keeper Christofer Heimroth picking the ball out of his own net.
Gladbach never really looked as though they had the fight to even the score, and had their fate sealed three minutes past the hour mark when Ba blasted in a corner from Sejad Salihovic, giving Hoffenheim an insurmountable two-goal lead.
Gladbach enter the winter break in last place in the Bundesliga standings, and will begin their fight against relegation when their domestic season resumes in mid-January with a trip to Nürnberg.
FC Cologne 1 - 2 MSV Duisburg
David Yelldell played the full 90 minutes in goal on Wednesday as Duisburg held off a late Cologne charge to pass through to the final eight.
Facing off against a Cologne team facing a season-long fight against relegation, the Zebras needed just three minutes to give themselves the advantage when Ivica Grlic floated in a corner which Stefan Maierhofer rose high to head into Cologne's goal.
Both teams kept the game tight for much of the remainder of the proceedings, however Duisburg looked to have assured their passage with 16 minutes remaining.
Srdjan Baljak was the instigator, threading a through ball to the storming Julian Koch, which he controlled before beating his defender and nailing his shot off the right post and into goal.
Cologne made things interesting with six minutes remaining when Martin Lanig headed on a long pass to Simon Terodde, whose shot was only slowed by Yelldell before rolling into the net to cut the lead to one.
The evening would belong to Duisburg, however, as they held the lead for the final minutes to reach the final eight of the competition.
Duisburg will face the winner of the postponed matchup between Koblenz and Kaiserslautern on the January 26 Cup quarterfinal, but will first resume their 2. Bundesliga campaign in mid-January when they host VfL Osnabrück.
Alemannia Aachen 1 - 1 Eintracht Frankfurt (pen 5-3)
Ricardo Clark kept his place in Eintracht Frankfurt's central midfield, playing the full 120 minutes at Alemannia Aachen, however the team was doomed to defeat in the most painful of ways, losing out in a penalty shootout.
Frankfurt looked headed for a rough evening early in the game when Pirmin Schwegler was given his marching orders for toppling Mbaye Gueye in the area as the last defender after 14 minutes, giving Aachen an early chance to take the lead from the spot.
Frankfurt keeper Ralf Fährmann kept his team in the running, however timing his dive perfectly to stop Marco Höger's attempt towards the right side of goal.
Despite their man-disadvantage, Frankfurt fought hard to keep the game scoreless throughout the rest of regulation, sending proceedings into overtime.
Höger made up for his early failed penalty attempt three minutes into the first overtime period, having the ball take a lucky bounce to his feet before he sent his low shot to the right of Fährmann for the lead.
Ten-man Frankfurt fought back to quickly draw the scoreline, taking advantage of a poor clearance by the Aachen defense, with Czech international Martin latching onto a cross from Alexander Meier and blasting his low shot just inside the left post in the 99th minute.
Neither team was able to add any further goals for the remaining 20 minutes, eventually sending the hopes of both to the dreaded overtime shootout.
While neither keeper managed to stop any of the spot kicks headed their way, Meier's miss well over the crossbar on Frankfurt's second attempt was the ultimate decider, sending the 2. Bundesliga team through to the final eight.
Clark put in a strong performance to hold the midfield for the depleted Frankfurt team for the full 120 minutes, but was not chosen by coach Michael Skibbe to take one of the team's final spot kicks.
Frankfurt can now focus solely on their surprising Bundesliga campaign, which has them sitting seventh in the standings and taking the field next when they host Hannover on on January 16.
Jermaine Jones is in head coach Felix Magath's doghouse and was not included in the Schalke squad that went on the road to down Augsburg by a 1-0 score on Tuesday night, and is unlikely to still be with the squad in late-January for their quarterfinal matchup with the winner of the postponed Offenbach - Nürnberg game.