SCOTT PETERSON - Monday, April 9, 2012
Daniel Williams and Fabian Johnson tasted victory with Hoffenheim, while Andrew Wooten and Kaiserslautern were all but relegated in weekend Bundesliga action.
FC Kaiserslautern 1 - 2 1899 Hoffenheim
Daniel Williams and Fabian Johnson both factored for Hoffenheim, and Andrew Wooten saw some second-half playing time for Kaiserslautern, as the guests all but sealed Kaiserslautern's relegation with the victory.
Williams returned to the starting 11, as both he and Johnson put in a full 90 minutes of work in the Palatinate capital.
Sehad Salihovic opened the scoring in the 25th minute as the Bosnian converted a penalty after Kaiserslautern defender Rodnei wrestled Roberto Firmino to the ground in the area while he attempted to make up for his botched clearance.
Never a team lacking in passion and dedication, Kaiserslautern finds themselves in last place for a simple lack of quality in attack, and porous defending only has only exacerbated an already dire situation.
After failing to take advantage of a few chances in the opening minutes of the second half, Wooten was brought on, in part to inject fresh ideas into a stagnant attack, and in part as an audition for next season.
Hoffenheim was content to sit back and counter attack. It was, however, a lack of ball control and a turnover by Pierre de Wit that led directly to the next goal for Hoffenheim.
Boris Vukcevic said thanks, took the ball and was off to the races, before putting the ball past Kaiserslautern keeper Tobias Sippel in the 71st minute.
The home team did give its fans something to cheer about, as Alexander Bugera grabbed a consolation goal in the 86th minute off of a free kick to end the day's scoring.
Kaiserslautern is stuck on 20 points, nine back of a relegation playoff spot with five matches remaining. Hoffenheim still has an outside chance at qualifying for the Europa League, four points behind Bremen and Hanover.
Kaiserslautern is next in Leverkusen on Wednesday, while Hoffenheim will play host to Hamburg in upcoming midweek action.
SC Freiburg 2 - 2 FC Nuremberg
Timothy Chandler started for FC Nuremberg on Saturday as the Franconians blew a two-goal lead to Freiburg in a vital relegation tussle.
Chandler started in midfield putting in a full 90 minutes as a right attacking midfielder.
Daniel Didavi put Nuremberg in the lead after just seven minutes, finding the back of the net from 20 yards out with an arching left-footed shot.
Seconds before the interval, Tomas Pekhart finished off the third in a set of three Nuremberg corners with the second goal for the visitors whipping in a shot after the ball came to him in the wake of a scrum in front of goal.
Just eight minutes after the restart, Daniel Caligiuri was fouled in the box by Nuremberg's Per Nilsson, and Caligiuri himself converted to the spot to draw the home team within a goal.
The comeback was completed in the 78th minute, when Cedric Makiadi simply had a go from the edge of the box and saw his shot take a slight deflection on its way past keeper Rafael Schaeffer.
Nuremberg and Chandler are now in 12th place with 32 points, just three above the drop zone. Up next is a home match against Jermaine Jones and Schalke 04 on Wednesday.
SC Paderborn 2 - 2 1860 Munich
Matt Taylor and SC Paderborn came from behind twice to salvage a point against 1860 Munich.
Taylor did not get the start, but came on for Sören Brandy in the 64th minute.
The first goal fell in the 27th minute when Djordje Rakic took a feed from Benny Lauth before beating Paderborn's Lukas Kruse with right-footed shot.
Taylor had hardly broken a sweat, when he rounded Munich defender Kai Bülow only to be dragged to ground in the area.
Bülow saw red and Nick Proschwitz converted the ensuing penalty confidently in the 65th minute.
A mere six minutes later, Kevin Volland put the guests back in the lead with a spectacular shot from 28 yards out the sailed past Kruse's outstretched arms and into goal.
Paderborn, however, still took advantage of their man advantage to grab a late equalizer as Enis Alushi tucked a right-footed shot inside the far post in the 85th minute.
Paderborn and Taylor are still in contention for an improbable promotion with 52 points, just two back of Dusseldorf and one back of Sankt Pauli for the last relegation playoff spot.
Paderborn travel to Erzgebirge Aue on Wednesday.
Jermaine Jones was suspended, and Steve Cherundolo was an unused sub as Jones' Schalke got the better of Cherundolo's Hannover winning 3-0.
Alfredo Morales was on the bench for Berlin's scoreless tie against Gladbach on Saturday.
Vilyan Bijev saw eight minutes of action in his first team debut as Dusseldorf lost to Rostock.
Preston Zimmerman saw second-half minutes as Darmstadt and Chemnitz failed to produce a goal.