SCOTT PETERSON - Monday, August 27, 2012
Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 did battle with Jermaine Jones and Schalke, while Fabian Johnson and Hoffenheim dropped a close one to Borussia Mönchengladbach in weekend play in Germany.
Hannover 96 2 - 2 Schalke 04
Steve Cherundolo donned the captain's armband for Hannover as the Lower Saxons hosted Jermaine Jones and Schalke 04.
While Jones made his season debut for the Königsblauen on Sunday, Cherundolo was coming off of victorious German Cup contest a week ago, and both Americans put in 90 solid minutes of work.
The opening frame saw both teams show the other a great deal of respect with neither wanting to invest too much for fear of being caught out on the counterattack.
As is usually the case in such affairs, it was a set-piece that brought the opener.
Hannover's Christian Pander found fullback Felipe with a in-swinger from the left after the Brazilian lost Roman Neustädter in the box. Felipe then calmly headed home past Timo Hildebrand for the lead in the 43rd minute.
For all the caution of the first half, the second half turned out to be a wide-open affair.
Schalke equalized in the 52nd minute with Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar taking the ball on the right flank, dancing around and cutting past Felipe and firing home on his left past German keeper Ron-Robert Zieler from just outside the box.
Schalke then took the lead 10 minutes later as Jones found the diminutive Lewis Holtby in the box, who out-jumped 6 foot 2 Swiss defender Mario Eggimann leaving Zieler no chance to parry.
Not to be outdone, Hannover grabbed an equalizer of their own in the 81st minute thanks to a fantastic driving run by Jan Schlaudraff into the box that ended with the German laying off for Adrian Nikci, who redirected from two yards out into goal.
Cherundolo and Hannover have double duty this week as they first host Slask Wroclaw on Thursday in the Europa League before traveling to Wolfsburg on Sunday.
Jones and Schalke have their home opener on Saturday against FC Augsburg.
Borussia Mönchengladbach 2 - 1 1899 Hoffenheim
Fabian Johnson lined up on the left side of defense for Hoffenheim from the get-go as they opened their Bundesliga campaign on the road falling to Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Johnson returned to Markus Babbel's line up after Hoffenheim was embarrassed in the German Cup over the weekend, getting trounced 4-0 by fourth tier team AK Berlin.
Hoffenheim and their slew of new acquisitions have lifted expectations in the Breisgau, but the team has been slow at getting acclimated to each other to say the least.
In the 32nd minute Gladbach's Juan Arango was fouled on the left flank. With the ensuing free kick, the Venezuelan found Mike Hanke in the box for a glancing header that found its way past Keeper Tim Wiese for the 1-0 lead.
Hoffenheim deservedly pulled level in the 66th minute as Roberto Firmino headed home a rebound off of Eryn Derdyiok's close range effort.
With the game open and the outcome in the balance, the home team took the lead on Arango's direct free kick in the 79th minute, which the Venezuelan curled over the wall and past a wrong-footed Wiese.
Hoffenheim could not mount a serious threat in the final ten minutes and subsequently fell in the opener.
Daniel Williams was named to the bench but did not see any playing time while Joe Gyau was not named to the roster.
Johnson and Hoffenheim will get a chance to get a positive result in front of their home fans next week as they host Eintracht Frankfurt.
Stuttgart Kickers 3 - 0 VfL Osnabrück
Royal-Dominique Fennell started again for Stuttgart and scored for the second time in as many games to help defeat Osnabrück for the Kickers' second victory of the year.
Fennell lined up in central defense for his sixth start in succession and played the entire 90 minutes.
Stuttgart needed 22 minutes to break the deadlock doing so though Marco Grüttner, who penetrated Osnabrück's defense before beating keeper Manuel Riemann.
Fennell doubled Stuttgart's lead in style 10 minutes later, bicycling home a corner for a spectacular goal.
The game's final goal fell in the 83rd minute as substitute Tobias Rühle finished off a counterattack for his first goal of the season.
With the victory, the Kickers are now in 10th place with eight points from six matches. Up next is a Wednesday in Bielefeld.
Preußen Münster 1 - 1 FC Heidenheim
Matt Taylor played the maximum 90 for Munster as the Westphalians came from behind to earn a point on Saturday.
It was back to 3.Liga play for Munster and Taylor, who netted an improbable hat-trick against Werder Bremen to help oust the Bundesliga outfit from the German Cup.
Munster were caught cold after just 10 minutes as Heidenheim striker Marco Sailer finished off a counterattack by whipping a right-footed shot past Munster goalie Daniel Mausch.
Munster had to wait until the second half to equalized despite a slew of chances, including hammering the ball three times of the crossbar.
But equalize they did, with Amaury Bischhof finding the back of the net on a free kick from 16 yards out.
Munster pressured for a winner, but failed to do so and had to be satisfied with a point.
Munster now sits in fourth place with 11 points and travels to take on Hallerscher FC on Wednesday.
SV Darmstadt 1 - 1 Hansa Rostock
Preston Zimmerman started up top for Darmstadt as the Lilies split the spoils with Rostock in 3.Liga action.
Zimmerman started for head coach Kosta Runjaic alongside fellow striker Caster Tatara.
The former set up the latter in the 22nd minute for the opener after Zimmerman got in behind the Rostock defense before squaring the ball to Tatara, who easily redirected over the line.
The guests equalized in 67th minute, as Nils Quaschner fired in a shot from a tight angle off the crossbar and into goal.
With the point, Darmstadt climbs up a spot in the standings to 16th. Zimmerman and the Lilies take on Wehen Wiesbaden this Wednesday.
David Yelldell was on the bench as number two keeper in Leverkusen's 2-1 defeat to Frankfurt.
Andrew Wooten was named to the bench, but did not feature in Sandhausen's 2-0 victory over Union Berlin.
Alfredo Morales did not make the bench for Hertha Berlin's 2-1 victory over Regensburg.