SCOTT PETERSON - Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Jermaine Jones and Schalke came up short against their bitter rivals from Dortmund, while Daniel Williams and Fabian Johnson picked up a point for Hoffenheim.
Schalke 04 1 - 2 Borussia Dortmund
Jermaine Jones started for Schalke against Dortmund, as the home team dropped a close one to their bitter rivals.
After the midweek thrashing at the hands of Nuremberg, head coach Huub Stevens made five changes to the starting lineup, but Jones was not dropped as he assumed his usual role in defensive midfield.
It did not take long for things to get going as Dortmund's Sven Bender came close after just 30 second, while Schalke's Kyriakos Papadopoulos narrowly missed the target in the 3rd minute.
The hosts grabbed the early advantage in the 9th minute, as Jefferson Farfan fired home a rebound off of a corner inside the far post from 19 yards out.
The chances kept coming with Raul nearly finding the back of the net for Schalke in the 13th and Lewandowski for Dortmund a minute later.
The equalizer came in the 17th minute through Lukasz Piszczek. After Schalke failed to clear a corner, the Pole spectacularly slammed home a spinning shot with his RIGHT foot past Schalke keeper Lars Unnerstahl.
Dortmund's Sebastian Kehl grabbed the game winner against the run of play in the 63rd minute, as former BVB defender Christoff Metzelder inadvertently deflected a corner to the Dortmund midfielder, who easily tapped the ball over the line from close range.
The victory brings Dortmund a step closer to their 8th Bundesliga crown as they now have a seven point lead on Bayern Munich.
Up next for Jones and Schalke is an away game in Augsburg on Sunday.
Hamburg SV 1 - 0 Hannover 96
Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 failed to overcome a shaky first 45, as the Lower Saxons fell to Hamburg.
Cherundolo and Hannover were under siege right from the opening whistle: Heung Min Son had the home team's first chance after just 2 minutes, as he was only just off-target on a free kick from the edge of the area.
Ten minutes later, though, Son came through. The Korean dribbled past Cherundolo on the left, before cutting in to his right and shooting past Hannover keeper Ron Robert Zieler for the lead.
Hamburg could have scored a handful of goals in the first half, if it were not for their wastefulness in front of goal.
Hannover, on the other hand, did not produce even a whiff of a shot on goal until the Jan Schlaudraff let one rip from way out in the 37th minute.
Hannover's performance in the second half was a drastic improvement over the first, as Christian Pander came close in the 57th and Hannover combined well on the counter attack in the 60th, only to be foiled by keeper Jaroslav Drobny.
Hamburg hung on as Hannover lost out on three valuable points towards qualification for the Europa League.
Kaiserslautern 0 - 2 Nuremberg
Timothy Chandler went the distance for Nuremberg as the Franconians dispatched Andrew Wooten and Kaiserslautern.
Chandler started at right fullback for Dieter Hecking, while Andrew Wooten came on in the second half.
Chandler came tantalizingly close to scoring in the 9th minute, when his right footed shot was kept out by the crossbar.
Last place Kaiserslautern, however, showed some heart and tenacity as their otherwise anemic attack produced chances in the 19th, 30th, 35th and 38th minutes.
In the 42nd minute, Nuremberg struck. On-loan striker Daniel Didavi took a feed from Mike Frantz and thumped in a shot with his left into the upper 90 from a good 20 yards out.
Nuremberg doubled the advantage in the 73rd minute, when Didavi dribbled around three Kaiserslautern defenders before centering for Tomas Pekhart, who had no difficulties tapping in from a yard into an open net.
With the win, Nuremberg is almost home safe, while Kaiserslautern is only mathematically alive. Nuremberg hosts Hamburg on Saturday, while Kaiserslautern travels to Berlin, also on Saturday.
SC Freiburg 0 - 0 1899 Hoffenheim
Both Daniel Williams and Fabian Johnson started on Sunday, with each going the distance, as Hoffenheim scraped together a point.
Williams returned to the starting lineup in lieu of Tobias Weis, who was out after picking up his 5th yellow card; Johnson made yet another start, this time at left fullback.
The best chance for either team in the first half came in the 24th minute, but Sebastian Freis could only head Jonathan Schmid's cross just past the left post.
The second half brought about no changes on either side.
Freiburg were unfortunate not to take the lead in the 73rd minute as Daniel Caligiuri beat Hoffenheim keeper Tom Starke, only to be foiled by the post.
The last chance of the match fell to Williams, the former Freiburg man, but his right-footed shot was only able to hit the side-netting.
Up next for Hoffenheim is a must win if they hope to qualify for the Europa League as Bayer Leverkusen come to town on Saturday.
Jena 2 - 1 Darmstadt
Preston Zimmerman saw 45 minutes of second-half action, as Darmstadt fell despite having a man advantage for most of the second half.
Marcus Steegman got the nod from head coach Kosta Runjaic, which meant that Zimmerman had to start the match as a spectator.
The game got off to a frenetic start, and goals followed quickly.
The home team struck first, as Jena's Nils Pichinot got on the end of a cross, before burying his shot past Darmstadt's Jan Zimmermann after just a minute of play.
Darmstadt, however, found an equalizer just three minutes later, when Christian Beisel headed home from close range.
Right before the break, Jan Simak dribbled past two Darmstadt defenders before his right-footed shot found its way into the back of the net in the 41st minute.
Runjaic brought on Zimmerman in an attempt to snatch a point, which looked even more promising after Alban Ramaj was sent off for unsportsmanlike behavior in the 50th minute.
Darmstadt, however, failed to find an equalizer and left Jena empty handed.
Darmstadt and Zimmerman host Babelsberg on Saturday.
Alfredo Morales came on in the 81st minute as Berlin tied Leverkusen 3-3.
Matthew Taylor was a late substitute as Paderborn dispatched Cottbus 3-1 in the 2. Bundesliga.
Villlyan Bijev was not named to Dusseldorf's gameday roster in their 2-1 loss to Dresden.