RECAP: GERMAN WEEKEND ACTION
Timothy Chandler returned, John Brooks scored and Andrew Wooten scored twice on a busy weekend for Americans in the top two divisions in Germany.
Hertha Berlin 2 - 0 Eintracht Braunschweig
John Anthony Brooks got out of the doghouse and onto the scorer's sheet as Berlin kept Braunschweig in last place.
After being benched for getting a tattoo on his back a couple of weeks ago, Brooks has re-solidified his place in the starting lineup for head coach Jos Luhukay and went the full 90.
Berlin came into the match with the notoriety of being the worst team in the second half of the season and a whopping seven points from their past ten matches.
After withstanding a good 60 minutes of pressure from the relegation-threatened guests, Berlin struck twice to score their first home win of 2014.
After some chaos in the box on a corner, Brooks reacted first to a bounding ball at waist level and curled his volley in from close range in the 61st for his second tally of the season.
Sami Allagui then put the match away with his goal in the 77th minute, slotting home a rebound off of a Adrian Ramos shot with his right.
Brooks and Berlin are back in action next week versus Bremen.
Mainz 05 2 - 0 Nuremberg
Timothy Chandler returned from injury to the starting lineup for the Franconians, who remain mired in a fight for survival after losing to Mainz.
Chandler put in 45 minutes of first-half action before giving way at the break for Martin Angha.
Nuremberg started well enough, having the bulk of possession, but failed to create chances. For their part Mainz was content to let Nuremberg do all the work and attack on the counter.
The tactics paid off in the 30th minute as Johannes Geis picked out all 5 feet 8 inches of Shinji Okazaki on a cross, and the Japanese international headed home with ease.
Right before the break, the hosts struck again as Christoph Moritz buried a muffed clearance attempt with a well-taken right-footed shot in the 44th minute.
Chandler was off at the break, but Nuremberg could not generate a threat to the Mainz goal and the match ended 2-0 to the hosts.
Chandler and Nuremberg are second to last with 26 points, one behind Hamburg and one in front of last-place Braunschweig. Next week is an all or nothing home contest versus Hannover.
Hoffenheim 0 - 0 Eintracht Frankfurt
Fabian Johnson and Hoffenheim failed to take their chances and had to settle for a point versus Frankfurt.
Johnson went the distance for Hoffenheim, while Jospeh Gyau made his season debut for the senior team in the 69th minute.
Both teams had chances aplenty to find a winner, but each were either let down by their finishing or thwarted by excellent goal keeping.
Nevertheless, Hoffenheim should have netted the winner in the 83rd minute as the hosts were awarded a penalty.
However, Roberto Firmino did not take his spot kick well and hit it right at keeper Kevin Trapp.
Next week Hoffenheim and Johnson take on Dortmund.
FC Ingolstadt 1 - 1 FC Cologne
Alfredo Morales helped Ingolstadt gain a point versus newly promoted Cologne.
Morales put in 90 minutes in the draw. He picked up his fifth caution of the season in the 74th minute, which means he'll miss next week's match due to suspension.
After sealing promotion back to the top flight last week, it was no surprise that Cologne was sluggish and in victory-lap mode.
Ingolstadt took advantage of the lackadaisical performance in the 33rd minute: Morales flicked on a corner to Andre Mijatovic, who toe poked the ball over to Moritz Hartmann for a tap in.
Despite the lackluster display, Cologne put its quality on display as Anthony Ujah did well to control with his chest, before firing home the equalizer in the 61st.
Morales will be a spectator next week when Ingolstadt travel to take on SV Sandhausen.
FSV Frankfurt 3 - 1 Energie Cottbus
Andrew Wooten scored a pair of goals to relegate Energie Cottbus into the third tier.
Wooten notched a brace to extend his goal total on the year to four, and three in the past two games.
His first came in the 32nd as he created space from his marker and fired home with a well-placed shot from a tight angle, before he grabbed his second two minutes later on a spot kick.
Then both teams saw a man sent off in the span of five minutes: Odhise Roshi was shown a straight red for unsportsmanlike conduct in the 38th minute, while Charles Takyi was cautioned for the second time in the 43rd for elbowing Tim Heubach in an aerial challenge.
Paul Röwer gave Cottbus a chance to come back with his goal in the 67th, but Michael Görlitz killed any hopes of a comeback with his tally in the 82nd minute.
Up next for Frankfurt and Wooten is a road match versus Bielefeld.