RECAP: WEEKEND GERMAN ACTION
Timothy Chandler had a banner day in his first Nürnberg start, while David Yelldell and Duisburg stayed in the 2. Bundesliga's promotion race with a scoreless draw in Augsburg.
VfB Stuttgart 1 - 4 FC Nürnberg
Timothy Chandler was a huge impact for Nürnberg in his first start, helping to set up the team's first two goals and bagging their third in their blowout win at Stuttgart on Saturday.
After making several appearances since the start of the new year, Chandler was thrust into the starting lineup at right midfield in place of suspended forward Christian Eigler, and more than repaid head coach Dieter Hecking for the opportunity.
Nürnberg got off to a quick start, taking the lead after 11 minutes when a free kick from the left edge by Javier Pinola landed in the penalty area in a crowd of players. Chandler and Stuttgart defender Christian Molinaro both sought to gain control of the ball, knocking it back to Timmy Simons on the top edge, who was on-target with his low shot inside the right post.
Chandler was they key as they doubled their lead two minutes before the half-hour mark, sending in a long, accurate diagonal ball from the right flank which Julian Schieber powered past keeper Sven Ulreich with a diving header.
Stuttgart pulled one back on the stroke of halftime when Patrick Funk took advantage of a weak clearance out of the Nürnberg 18-yard box and put the ball in the lower right corner from 25 yards out.
Chandler struck again six minutes into the second half, however, effectively putting the game out of reach. Schieber rounded his defender on the left to bring the ball into the penalty area, then picked out the onrushing Chandler with a short cross that gave the American an easy tap-in for his first Bundesliga goal.
They quickly added a fourth and final goal 11 minutes later, as Andreas Wolf stormed towards the area from midfield and laid off a short pass to Mehmet Ekici, who freed himself of Molinaro and rolled a low 20-yarder just out of Ulreich's grip.
Nürnberg remain in ninth place with the win, tied on points with Hoffenheim but trailing by goal differential. They return home on Friday evening to host Chandler's previous team Eintracht Frankfurt.
Werder Bremen 1 - 1 Hannover 96
Steve Cherundolo and Hannover were unable to protect an early lead against struggling Werder Bremen, allowing their northern neighbors to fight back for a draw on Sunday evening.
Hannover midfielder DaMarcus Beasley did not suit up for the encounter.
While Bremen had most of the scoring opportunities in the opening 20 minutes including protested handball non-call on Manuel Schmiedebach, Hannover's talismanic forward Didier Ya Konan put the Reds in the lead in the 26th minute.
Jan Schlaudraff worked past central defender Sebastian Prödl on the right and found Ya Konan on the near edge of the area, and the Ivorian striker had no problems to beat the geriatric defender Mikaël Silvestre and blast his low shot inside the far post for his 11th season goal.
Silvestre made up for his earlier lethargic display, heading a long free kick from Aaron Hunt high into the area, which the towering central defender Per Mertesacker rose above the surrounding defenders to head past Robert Zieler for the 50th-minute equalizer.
Neither team could stamp their authority over the last 40 minutes, with the referee's final whistle awarding one point to each team.
Schmiedebach created some drama immediately following the game's completion when he cheaply knocked Marko Marin over leading to his fifth yellow card of the season, guaranteeing his absence from Hannover's next contest.
Hannover stay in fourth place with the result, sandwiched in between FC Bayern in third and Mainz one point below in fifth. They will hope to take full points on Saturday when they return home to host relegation threatened Kaiserslautern.
FC Augsburg 0 - 0 MSV Duisburg
David Yelldell and an undermanned Duisburg team scrapped together a stalwart defensive performance on Friday night, locking horns with promotion favorites Augsburg in a scoreless deadlock to earn their third straight tough draw on the road.
A trio of key absences due to suspension and injury forced the Zebras to adopt a far more defensive role implemented at the last minute, and the hosts held a firm grip on the proceedings for much of the opening half. Head coach Milan Sasic's tactical approach succeeded to keep the hosts off the board as his team weathered the storm, and the tide began to turn in their favor over the final half-hour of the game.
Duisburg took the game under control in the final minutes and came close on several occasions, most notably a questionable non-call on a takedown of striker Srdjan Baljak on the edge of the penalty area in the final minute, however the final whistle awarded a well-deserved point to each of the two promotion-hunting teams.
More details of the game are given in a Yanks Abroad press box report.
Fortuna Düsseldorf 3 - 1 FC Ingolstadt 04
Edson Buddle played just over an hour for Ingolstadt on Sunday, however he was unable to help prevent their second loss of 2011 as they were overpowered by Fortuna Düsseldorf.
Düsseldorf was first on the board in first-half injury time, when a free kick from Sascha Rösler was poorly dealt with by the defense. Ingolstadt defender Tobias Fink popped his attempted clearance high into the six-yard box, where Tiago headed it down for Maximilian Beister to fire home.
Ingolstadt pulled even four minutes into the second half, when Fink was bowled over in the area by defender Kai Schwertfeger, with Stefan Lietl hitting the resulting spot kick past out of the reach of the diving Michael Melka.
The hosts re-took the lead three minutes later this time with Jens Langeneke connecting with a free kick from Schwertfeger, then added a third in the 64th minute when Langeneke slotting in from the spot after Beister was knocked down at the edge of the six-yard box by Brazilian midfielder Caiuby.
Ingolstadt remain in 17th place in one of the two automatic relegation places, and have a tough match-up on Friday when they host fifth-place Fürth.
Karlsruher SC 2 - 6 Hertha Berlin
Luis Robles had a disastrous day in the nets for Karlsruhe, being forced to watch six Hertha goals go through, five of them coming as a result of work by a pair of Brazilian siblings, as they fell back into the relegation zone with an embarrassing home loss.
Things looked good for Karlsruhe during the first half as their defense held what was the division's third-highest scoring team, with Robles making a clutch reaction save in the 34th minute.
They managed to take a lead into the halftime break when a free kick from Delron Buckley from the right side was deflected on its way towards goal into the path of Andrei Cristea, who chested the ball over the line in the 41st minute.
The promise of a good afternoon for the hosts would quickly disappear thanks to a rapid-fire hat trick by Hertha's Raffael during the first 21 minutes of the second half.
He netted his first in the 47th minute when Adrian Ramos slotted the ball to him in a free position just inside the area for a blast from near the penalty spot, then grabbed his second just after the hour mark when Patrick Ebert set him up on a quick counter-attack.
Raffael then completed his hat-trick four minutes later on another counter, this time with Pierre Lasogga picking him out on the right side with a cross, which he sent low to the far post, out of Robles' reach to give his team a 3-1 lead.
Colombian international Adrian Ramos then added a fourth with 18 minutes left, rushing in with just the right timing to tap in a cross by Lasogga directly in front of the face of goal.
The hosts pulled one back in the 83rd when Cristea added his second goal of the afternoon on a 24-yard free kick, however Hetrtha answered four minutes later when Raffael's younger brother Ronny fired a long free kick to the edge of the six-yard box which Ramos headed past Robles for their fifth of the afternoon.
Ronny then brought his family's tally to four goals on the afternoon at the end of regulation accepting the return favor from Ramos, who set him up with a short pass from near the endline for a hard blast which left Robles and the Karlsruhe defense no chance.
The loss drops Karlsruhe into the 16th-place relegation playoff spot, now two points behind both Oberhausen and Osnabrück. They will try to turn things around on Sunday when they visit struggling FSV Frankfurt.
Ricardo Clark is still recovering from a broken cheekbone and was not in uniform on Saturday for Eintracht Frankfurt's 3-0 embarrassment at home against Bayer Leverkusen.
Daniel Williams is still recovering from a knee injury and was not in Freiburg's squad that lost 1-0 at Schalke on Saturday.
Matt Taylor is out for several weeks with a torn muscle and watched from the stands on Saturday as Rot Weiss Ahlen fell at home to Wacker Burghausen by a 1-0 score.
Fabian Hürzeler is still awaiting his first call-up to FC Bayern II and was not in uniform on Friday for their 2-1 loss at home to Carl Zeiss Jena.
Bobby Wood made his third straight appearance for the Lions on Monday, coming on as an 89th-minute substitute in their heartbreaking 1-0 last-second loss at Erzgebirge Aue.