RECAP: WEEKEND GERMAN ACTION
Bobby Wood made his first-team debut for 1860 in their draw against David Yelldell and Duisburg while Luis Robles and Karlsruhe blanked Cottbus to end their three-game winless run.
Bayer Leverkusen 2 - 0 Hannover 96
Steve Cherundolo and Hannover were unable to recover from a pair of first-half Leverkusen goals to suffer their second straight loss in league play.
Hannover midfielder DaMarcus Beasley did not make the trip with the visitors.
The game marked Michael Ballack's return to Leverkusen's starting lineup, a slight bit of irony as the injury which kept him out for close to five months had occurred in the first meeting between these two teams.
Leverkusen needed only 21 minutes to jump ahead when a scramble at the top of the box saw the ball drop to the foot of Arturo Vidal, who slammed his blazing 18-yard shot just inside the right upright.
They doubled the lead with three minutes left until the break, with Gonzalo Castro sending a perfect through ball into the left side of the box for Simon Rolfes to hit from a tight angle low towards the far post.
Hannover had their best chance to pull one back in the 68th minute when Mohammed Abdellaoue sent his header just over the crossbar, however Leverkusen continued to dominate the proceedings, leaving their grab of the full three points in little doubt.
Hannover drop to fifth place with the loss but will look to make up some ground when they host struggling Wolfsburg on Saturday.
FC Nürnberg 2 - 0 Hamburger SV
Timothy Chandler continue to get playing time for FC Nürnberg, coming on a second-half substitute for their 2-0 win over Hamburg on Saturday.
Even though they had last played just four days earlier in the DFB Cup quarterfinal, Nürnberg were clearly the only team which showed up to the contest with any real intent to stamp their authority on the proceedings, as Hamburg were simply not up to the task for the duration of the 90 minutes.
The guests were lucky to keep the game at a deadlock for nearly the first hour, however a rare mistake from veteran Frank Rost served Nürnberg's opening goal up on a silver platter.
A brilliant pass by 18 year-old Markus Mendler, making only his fourth professional appearance, flew over the Hamburg defense to Christian Eigler, who had only Rost to beat on his way to goal.
The keeper dove at the ball as Eigler ran into the area but missed and tripped up the forward for a clear penalty, allowing Timmy Simons to put Nürnberg into the lead from the spot in the 59th minute.
Chandler entered the game for right back Juri Judt shortly after for his second straight appearance in league play, and the team continued pressing to double their lead shortly thereafter.
Hamburg's Gojko Kacar first the team further in the hole in the 69th minute when he tripped up Robert Mak on his way towards goal to draw a red card as the last defender, then Almog Cohen bagged Nürnberg's second goal moments later when he was in perfect position in front of goal to tap the ball in after Rost was unable to clear the subsequent free kick.
The win pushes Nürnberg to tenth place, with their next contest at home on Saturday against Leverkusen.
Rot-Weiß Oberhausen 1 - 1 FC Ingolstadt 04
Edson Buddle shook off an ankle injury to come on as a second-half substitute for Ingolstadt on Friday evening, picking up a yellow card in their draw on the road against Rot-Weiß Oberhausen.
A minor ankle sprain suffered in training earlier in the week was enough to keep Buddle out of the starting lineup, however Ingolstadt head coach Benno Möhlmann made sure the American was still available to go from the bench in the event he needed a late attacking spark.
Buddle's replacement for the evening Marko Futacs looked to have scored the opening goal in the 20th minute when he headed the ball into the net following a free kick. However much to Ingolstadt's relief the goal was waved off due to a foul by Oberhausen, as Futacs had errantly headed the ball into his own net while trying to defend the set piece from Oberhausen's Dennis Grote.
Ingolstadt then took the lead three minutes before the half-hour when Stefan Leitl ran onto a crossfield pass from Markus Karl in the right side of the penalty area, and put his low shot past Oberhausen keeper Sören Pirson.
The hosts pulled even two minutes into the second half when Ronny König nailed a spectacular blast from 22 yards out which bounced in off of the upright, out of the reach of keeper Sascha Kirchstein.
Buddle entered the game at the 60-minute mark for the largely ineffective Futacs, and picked up his first yellow for a foul on Tim Kruse.
Neither of the relegation-threatened teams was able to find an eventual winner, with both teams picking up their share of the points.
Ingolstadt still remain six points deep in the relegation zone in 17th place, but will look to lesson the gap to safety on Sunday afternoon when they host dead-last Arminia Bielefeld.
TSV 1860 Munich 1 - 1 MSV Duisburg
David Yelldell and MSV Duisburg were able to salvage a point on the road on Saturday afternoon against 1860 Munich thanks to a late goal by Manuel Schäffler.
Bobby Wood made his debut for 1860's first team, coming on as an 82nd minute substitute.
1860 captain Benjamin Lauth put the Lions ahead much to the delight of the home crowd in the final minutes before the halftime break with a short blast from the left side of goal.
Second-half substitute Manuel Schäffler finally pulled Duisburg even with four minutes remaining with a shot from ten yards, and the team kept the pressure on before the final whistle signaled to give each team a share of the points.
Full details of the game are included on Yanks Abroad in a press box report.
Karlsruher SC 1 - 0 Energie Cottbus
Luis Robles put on a strong performance in goal for Karlsruhe on Sunday, grabbing five saves to blank Cottbus in the team's vital win at home..
Karlsruhe took the lead in the eighth minute thanks in large part to speedy winger Serhat Akın. The Turkish international flew up the right flank towards the endline and launched a long cross into the 18-yard box.
The Cottbus defenders were unable to get to the ball to clear it from danger, with winter transfer window signing Delron Buckley finally putting away his first goal for the team with a shot from near the left goalpost.
Robles came up big with a pair of impressive diving saves to thwart Emil Jula in the 27th and 28th minutes, then again put a stop to a blast from Jula in the closing moments to preserve the three points for his team.
The win pulls Karlsruhe free from the relegation zone now with a one-point lead over Rot-Weiß Oberhausen, and they will look to further improve their position on Saturday on their visit to Paderborn.
Rot Weiss Ahlen 1 - 1 SpVgg Unterhaching
Matt Taylor connected from the spot for Ahlen on Saturday afternoon for his tenth goal of the season, as the team came back from a halftime deficit to draw with SpVgg Unterhaching in 3. Liga action.
Unterhaching pulled ahead after 27 minutes when team captain sent Abdenour Amachaibou through on goal with a precise pass, allowing the German-Moroccan striker to round Ahlen's keeper and put away his shot.
The visitors kept the game in their favor until the final quarter-hour, when a shot by Marcus Piossek struck Haching defender Andreas Brysch on the right arm, forcing the referee to whistle a penalty.
After his successful spot kick during the midweek, Taylor stepped up and buried his shot past Darius Kampa, securing the important point for Ahlen.
The point drops Ahlen to 13th place on 23 points, but they will have the chance to make up ground on Wednesday when they host VfB Stuttgart in midweek play.
Neither Ricardo Clark nor Michael Bradley suited up for Borussia Mönchengladbach's 1-0 road win over Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday, as Clark will be out for some time with a broken cheekbone while Bradley was left home due to his impeding transfer to Aston Villa.
Daniel Williams is recovering from a knee injury and did not suit up for Freiburg on Sunday as they went on the road to record a 1-0 win at Stuttgart.
Alfredo Morales was an unused substitute on Sunday afternoon for Hertha in their 3-1 road win over last-place Arminia Bielefeld.
Fabian Hürzeler and Bayern II had the weekend off as their Friday-evening game in Munich against Kickers Offenbach was canceled due to heavy snowfall.