RECAP: WEEKEND GERMAN ACTION
The German regular season came to a close over the weekend, with Steve Cherundolo and Hannover scoring a big win over Timothy Chandler and Nürnberg, while David Yelldell and Duisburg were on the losing end at Bochum.
Hannover 96 3 - 1 FC Nürnberg
Steve Cherundolo won the battle of the American right fullbacks, as he and Timothy Chandler both played the full 90 minutes on Saturday in Hannover's 3-1 win at home over FC Nürnberg.
Cherundolo also picked up his fifth yellow card of the season in the 19th minute.
Nürnberg took the lead after 25 minutes, as Christian Eigler set up Bundesliga debutant Julian Wießmeier with a pass to the middle, and the 18-year old popped a high shot which flew over Ron Robert Zieler and into Hannover's net for the 1-0 lead.
Hannover pulled even five minutes later as Konstantin Rausch fired a free kick into the danger area from the right side, which Karim Haggui redirected into the net for the equalizer.
Hannover then pulled ahead at the hour mark, this time with Rausch doing the honors as he collected a pass from Jan Schlaudraff on the left side, pulled the ball back around Chandler and fired high inside the far corner for 2-1.
The hosts then welcomed a gift from Nürnberg, being awarded a penalty after Marek Mintal knocked Schlaudraff over in the area, allowing Didier Ya Konan to step up to the spot and fire his shot to the right side of Nürnberg keeper Manuel Schäffer.
Hannover finish their remarkable season as the Bundesliga's fourth-placed team, giving them a berth in the Europa League's play-off round to take place beginning in mid-August.
This also puts the books on a fairly impressive season for Nürnberg, as they finish sixth in the Bundesliga standings, although they were nine points back from the league's final European spot.
Both teams are expected to begin their preparations for the 2011-12 Bundesliga season in mid-June, however both Cherundolo and Chandler will almost certainly be with the US National team at this time competing in the Gold Cup.
VfL Bochum 3 - 1 MSV Duisburg
David Yelldell was between the posts for Duisburg as they ended their season on a sour note, losing a 3-1 decision on the road to VfL Bochum.
Fighting to maintain their spot in the 2. Bundesliga's promotion playoff, Bochum took the lead early, as Mirkan Aydin received the ball completely free of any defenders on the left side of the penalty area, and had no problems to beat Yelldell with his strong shot.
Duisburg felt hard done by due to a pair of obvious missed penalty calls for fouls on Olcay Sahan by Christoph Dabrowski, robbing them of a chance to equalize.
This proved to be particularly damaging after Bochum proceeded to add second with eight minutes left as Giovanni Federico hit a nice shot from the top edge of the area, then made it three with three minutes left, with Aydin storming into the right side of the area and having no problems to beat Yelldell towards the far post.
Duisburg added a consolation goal two minutes later when Maurice Exslager had the ball placed at his feet as he ran into the Bochum box, and fired his 15-yard shot just inside the left post.
With the loss, Duisburg finish the season in eighth place, a disappointing far cry from their earlier hopes of promotion to the 1. Bundesliga. They have one more game to go, and will face FC Schalke 04 in Saturday's DFB Cup final in Berlin.
Hansa Rostock 2 - 0 Rot Weiss Ahlen
Matt Taylor and Rot Weiss Ahlen came out on the wrong end of a 2-0 scoreline on their trip to Hansa Rostock on Saturday, however the team was still able to narrowly avoid relegation.
The game was the last in the Ahlen uniform for Taylor after he agreed to join 2. Bundesliga team SC Paderborn for the upcoming season, however he will surely be remembered as a hero in Ahlen as his 17 goals throughout the season - enough for third best in the division - were the catalyst to the team's ultimate survival.
Ahlen hung strong throughout a scoreless first half, however the already-promoted Rostock did finally take the well-deserved lead eight minuted after the restart.
Peter Schyrba lobbed a pass to Mohammed Lartey to the left of goal, who one-timed a pass across the six-yard box for Kevin Pannewitz to tap in for the lead.
Rostock needed another 14 minutes to effectively put the game on ice, this time with substitute player Radovan Vujanovic sliding a short pass from directly in front of goal to Robert Müller, who smacked it over the line for 2-0.
Ahlen were forced to play the last 16 minutes with just ten men on the field after Erdal Celik was shown his second yellow, but amazingly kept the scoreline from getting anymore lopsided.
The win, combined with a loss by Wacker Burghausen, means that Ahlen finish their tumultuous season in 17th place in the 3. Liga standings, two points ahead of Burghausen who will now drop down to the Regionalliga.
Taylor will have three weeks to rest up before beginning pre-season training for the 2011-12 2. Bundesliga season with his new employers Paderborn.
Ricardo Clark was forced to watch from the stands with an injury, as Eintracht Frankfurt were officially relegated to the 2. Bundesliga on Saturday thanks to their heaertbreaking 2-1 season-ending loss to new champions Borussia Dortmund. Barring a call-up to the US National team for the upcoming Gold Cup, Clark will have a relatively short break, as the mid-July start to the 2. Bundesliga season has most teams beginning their pre-season on June 7.
Daniel Willams was forced to sit out Freiburg's 1-0 loss at home to Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday with an ankle sprain which occurred during the week in training. Freiburg end the season in ninth place. The injury to Williams was only minor and he will be ready to go when the team begins their preparations for the 2011-12 season on June 20.
Edson Buddle was kept out of the the lineup for Ingolstadt's season-closing 1-0 loss at home to VfL Osnabrück with a minor calf injury. Osnabrück assistant coach Joe Enochs was on the sideline for the game, and the result means the team will now face a two-legged playoff against 3. Liga third-place team Dynamo Dresden for a place in the 2. Bundesliga next season.
Alfredo Morales was not included in 2. Bundesliga champions Hertha Berlin's gameday roster for their 2-1 home win over second-place FC Augsburg.
Bobby Wood is recovering from a knee injury and did not suit up for 1860 Munich's season-closing 3-2 loss at SC Paderborn 07 on Sunday. Wood should be fit and ready to go for 1860's first team once again when they begin pre-season preparations in June.
Luis Robles watched from Karlsruhe's bench on Sunday as the team assured that they will remain in the 2. Bundesliga thanks to a 3-2 home win over FC Union Berlin.