RECAP: WEEKEND GERMAN ACTION
Steve Cherundolo and Hannover were dropped mercilessly by a resurgent Dortmund squad while Edson Buddle and Ingolstadt continued their impressive run with a win in Cottbus.
Borussia Dortmund 4 - 1 Hannover 96
Steve Cherundolo helped Hannover hold the line against league leaders Dortmund for nearly an hour, however a late collapse saw their hosts score four in just under half an hour to drop Hannover out of the top three.
Midfielder DaMarcus Beasley has yet to hit the field in 2011, and was not in uniform for the encounter.
After neither team could find their way onto the scoreboard for nearly the first hour, the floodgates opened just before the 60-minute mark with the teams combining for five goals in a 26-minute span of time.
Mohammed Abdellaoue put Hannover ahead in the 57th minute when he lunged forward near the far post to get his foot onto a long cross from the left by Sergio Pinto, sending the ball crashing into goal.
Dortmund's Mario Götze took matters into his own hands two minutes later, making a spectacular weaving run through several defenders before poking the ball forward past Hannover keeper Florian Fromlowitz for the equalizer.
Lucas Barrios gave the hosts the lead five minutes later when he headed in a cross by Lukasz Piszczek, then added an insurance goal in the 73rd after getting on the end of a through-ball by Götze and smashing it past the helpless Fromlowitz.
Kevin Großkreutz added one more for the jubilant fans with eight minutes on the clock when he ran onto a slick back-heel from Barrios, having no problem to put his shot on frame for the final 4-1 score.
The loss combined with Bayern's 1-0 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach drops Hannover into fourth place, now one point behind the Bavarians in the race for the league's third and final Champions League spot.
They hope to recover on Saturday when they host fifth-place Mainz.
VfL Wolfsburg 1 - 1 Eintracht Frankfurt
Ricardo Clark got off to a promising start under new Frankfurt coach Christoph Daum, clocking the full 90 minutes in Eintracht's central midfield as they were unfortunate to settle for a draw in Wolfsburg on Sunday.
The teams created an lively game over the first hour with a number of close calls gone to waste that frustrated both head coaches to no end, but it was Frankfurt that finally made their mark on the scoreboard first just before the hour mark.
Halil Altintop did most of the hard work to get through several defenders before rocketing a shot towards Wolfsburg's goal. Keeper Diego Benaglio got his hands on the ball but deflected it into the path of Alexander Meier, who was on-target with the followup to put Frankfurt in the driver's seat.
Wolfsburg were put further in the hole with 20 minutes left as Arne Friedrich was perhaps harshly sent off for a questionable second yellow card as he went up for a header in Frankfurt's penalty area.
Frankfurt wasted the opportunity, however, seeing the three points decrease to just one with five minutes left when a long diagonal pass from near the midfield by Brazilian midfielder Diego found the head of Mario Mandzukic, whose high looping shot was over the reach of Ralf Fährmann for the equalizing goal.
While Frankfurt do rise one spot to 13th with the point, they are still just four points off of the relegation zone, with a visit from Werder Bremen looming on Friday evening.
Energie Cottbus 1 - 2 FC Ingolstadt 04
Edson Buddle got the start and played the first 66 minutes for Ingolstadt on Friday, as they gave their survival hopes yet another boost with an impressive 2-1 win in Cottbus.
Continuing their impressive 2011 run during which the team has hauled in the fourth-most points in the division, Ingolstadt opened the scoring in the 27th minute when Brazilian loanee Caiuby threaded a fine ball from the left flank to Stefan Leitl which he rocketed from the left of the penalty area just inside the far post.
Caiuby then doubled the advantage four minutes later when he stormed through four defenders and beat Cottbus keeper Thorsten Kirschbaum with a low shot from the top edge of the area.
Cottbus pulled one back with 20 minutes left in the game when Uwe Hünemeier set up Nils Petersen for a close-range shot which left Sascha Kirchstein no chance, however they were unable to force an equalizer with the guests taking home all the points.
The win leaves Ingolstadt in 14th place, however their pad above the relegation zone has increased to four points, with a second straight game on the road on Sunday against Paderborn.
Karlsruher SC 2 - 2 VfL Osnabrück
Luis Robles ended his run on the bench by coming into the game as a 56th-minute replacement for the injured Kristian Nicht, as Karlsruhe fought back from a late deficit to pull even with Osnabrück thanks to a dramatic last-minute score by Matthias Langkamp.
The hosts were off and running when Macauley Chrisantus hit from the right corner of the six-yard box to put Karlsruhe ahead in the fifth minute.
Osnabrück pulled even in the 33rd minute when a ruckus in the box allowed Alexander Krük to launch a shot which was initially blocked by Nicht, however Flamur Kastrati was in the right position to send a high header out of the keeper's reach to bring the score to 1-1.
Robles entered the game shortly into the second half after Nicht was forced out with an apparent knee injury after colliding with Langkamp.
Osnabrück looked to have notched the win when Kristoffer Andersen worked his way into the left side of the area and beat Robles with an acute shot from near the goal line, however Langkamp rescued a point for the hosts in the third minute of added time after connecting with a free kick by Delron Buckley for a left-footed shot that left the home crowd breathing a sigh of relief.
Karlsruhe are still very much in the thick of a relegation battle, two points out of the drop zone with six games left on the schedule. They next have a visit to Aue in a game which could see Robles return to the starting lineup should Nicht's injury require any recovery time.
SpVgg Greuther Fürth 2 - 1 MSV Duisburg
David Yelldell had a rough return from international duty on Saturday afternoon, tripping up Furth midfielder Nicolai Müller in the penalty area with 13 minutes left on the clock leading to the deciding spot kick as Duisburg were dealt a possible final blow to their slim hopes for promotion from the 2. Bundesliga.
Duisburg took an early lead when Olcay Sahan wrong-footed the Fürth keeper in the seventh minute, however the hosts pulled even under somewhat fortunate circumstances when Felix Klaus was in the perfect position to connect on a loose ball in the 19th minute.
The game looked headed for a draw until Yelldell tripped up Nicolai Müller in the area, allowing Bernd Nehrig to slot home the winner from the spot.
Details of the game are given in a Yanks Abroad press box report.
Rot Weiss Ahlen 0 - 2 FC Saarbrücken
Matt Taylor started and went 76 minutes for Ahlen on Saturday, but was unable to help them spark any offense as they were beaten by two goals at home by FC Saarbrücken.
The visitors took the lead midway through the second half when Manuel Zeitz poked in a free kick by Marcel Schug from right in front of goal.
Ahlen ruined any chance of a comeback for themselves in the 73rd minute as David Vrzogic saw a shot from Giuseppe Pisano careen first off of the crossbar then directly into his foot and over the line, giving Saarbrücken the final 2-0 win.
The loss drops Ahlen down to 15th place, just a single point above the relegation spots. They have a short turnaround before visiting 17th-place SV Sandhausen in a vital six-pointer on Wednesday.
Daniel Williams is still working back to fitness from a meniscus injury and did not participate in Freiburg's 1-1 draw on the road against Mainz.
Timmy Chandler was suspended due to a double-yellow right before the international break and watch from afar as Nürnberg dropped their second straight game, this time a tight 1-0 loss at Cologne.
Alfredo Morales was not a part of the Hertha Berlin squad that notched up a 2-0 win at home over Paderborn on Sunday.
Bobby Wood is currently spending time with the US U20 team in Guatemala and was unavailable for their 2-0 road loss to Aachen.