RECAP: WEEKEND GERMAN ACTION
Jermaine Jones and Schalke were victorious to stay on course for the Champions League, while Fabian Johnson and Hoffenheim stayed alive in dramatic fashion.
Borussia Mönchengladbach 0 - 1 Schalke 04
Schalke 04 and Jermaine Jones were fortunate to pick up all three points Friday night versus 'Gladbach, but win they did, taking a big step towards qualifying for the Champions League.
Jones put in 90 minutes for Die Königsblauen and was shown a yellow card in the 42nd minute for catching Torben Marx with an elbow in an aerial duel.
Scoring chances were few and far between for both teams in the first 45, with just a handful of half chances of note.
That all changed early in the second half as 'Gladbach's young Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka slammed a volley into the woodwork in the 55th minute, before Venezuelan Juan Arango struck the post in the 66th minute.
Schalke then generated some excellent chances through Klaas Jan Huntelaar (67th minute) and Julian Draxler (73rd minute), who both met their match in 'Gladbach keeper Marc Andre Ter Stegen.
The match was not, however, destined to end scoreless.
In the 82nd minute, Schalke's Rafael nutmegged Marx on the edge of the box to set up Draxler with a free look at goal from 10 yards out. The young German then buried the chance to give Schalke all the spoils.
With the win, Schalke remains three points up on Frankfurt for the last Champions League spot in next year's competition with two matches to play.
Schalke and Jones host Stuttgart next on Saturday.
Werder Bremen 2 - 2 Hoffenheim
Fabian Johnson and Hoffenheim scored a dramatic point versus Bremen with two goals in the final 10 minutes to keep hope alive for top-flight survival.
Johnson put in 45 minutes of work for Hoffenheim before giving way for Andreas Ludwig.
Things could not have started any worse for Hoffenheim.
David Abraham fouled Aaron Hunt on what appeared to be the edge of the box after 60 seconds. The referee, however, saw the foul in the box and pointed to the spot. Hunt then stepped up himself and slotted coolly past keeper Koen Casteels for the early lead.
It was made two for Bremen in the 24th, as Nils Peterson picked up a loose ball on the right flank and then found Kevin de Bruyne in the box. The Belgian midfielder hit it one-time and past Casteels inside the far post.
Hoffenheim's comeback started late, very late.
Substitute Sven Schipplock, who came on 10 minutes from time, pulled Hoffenheim to within a goal in the 85th minute after collecting Sehad Salihovic's pass on the edge of the box and burying it top shelf past Bremen keeper Sebastian Mielitz.
Schipplock then completed the dramatic comeback in the second minute of stoppage time, poking one home after Mielitz did well to block Ludwig's close-range header, shocking the home faithful and giving Hoffenheim a legitimate chance at survival.
Hoffenheim's final two matches are home against Hamburg and away against Dortmund. Currently, Hoffenheim is two points back of both Düsseldorf and Augsburg, and three back of Bremen.
Sandhausen 3 - 1 Ingolstadt
Andrew Wooten found the back of the net twice for Sandhausen as it dispatched Ingolstadt on Saturday.
Wooten put in 90 minutes of action for Sandhausen, who were relegated last time out.
Sandhausen struck first in the seventh minute through Nicky Adler, who got onto a loose ball in the box and fired home with his right.
It was all knotted up in the 26th minute thanks to Christian Eigler, who beat 'keeper Michel Langer with a header from five yards out.
Andrew Wooten fired Sandhausen back in front in the 58th minute, as the American picked up the ball on the edge of the box, danced past two defenders and found the back of the net from eight yards out with a deft right-footed shot.
Wooten put the game to bed in the 83rd minute by pouncing on Ramazan Özcan's spilled parry and firing home from point-blank range for his seventh tally of the season.
Up next for Wooten and Sandhausen is a Sunday date versus Energie Cottbus.
Preußen Münster 0 - 1 Stuttgart Kickers
Matt Taylor and Munster suffered a shock home defeat to Kickers on Saturday to put them on the outside looking in in the race for promotion.
Taylor went the distance in attack for Munster, who is now in fourth place with 69 points, one behind Osnabrück.
Taylor nearly opened the scoring in the 23rd minute for Munster, but his goal-bound effort was parried at the last second by keeper Markus Krauss.
The guests struck in the 79th minute thanks to some shoddy defending. Stefan Kühne botched a clearance attempt, which landed at the feet of substitute Fabian Baumgärtel. Baumgärtel tapped the ball into an empty goal for the eventual game winner.
Up next for Taylor and Munster is a road date at Unterhaching.
Steve Cherundolo did not play for Hannover as the Lower Saxons tied Mainz 2-2 on Saturday.
Timothy Chandler was an unused sub in Nürnberg's 0-2 loss to Leverkusen.
Bobby Wood failed to make it off the bench for 1860 Munich as the Lions dumped Union Berlin 3-0.
Joseph Gyau did not dress for St. Pauli, who tied Duisburg 0-0.
Preston Zimmerman served a one-match ban for yellow cards as Darmstadt fell to Karlsruhe.