RECAP: WEEKEND GERMAN ACTION
Timothy Chandler and FC Nürnberg hosted Steve Cherundolo's Hannover 96 in a battle of last year's two most surprising teams while Alfredo Morales made his 1. Bundesliga debut for Hertha Berlin.
FC Nürnberg 1 - 2 Hannover 96
Steve Cherundolo was rested and did not play after for Hannover after starting against Mexico on Wednesday, while Timmy Chandler got the start and went the distance as Nürnberg failed to gain any points in their home opener.
A pair of first-half Hannover goals gave them the firm upper hand heading into the half, however the hosts stormed back, cutting the lead to a single goal on a Chandler-assisted score by Tomas Pekhart shortly into the second half.
Full in-depth details of the game are given in a Yanks Abroad press box report.
Hamburger SV 2 - 2 Hertha Berlin
Alfredo Morales made his Bundesliga debut playing just over twenty minutes on Saturday in a strange game between his Hertha Berlin and league oldies Hamburg.
There was a lot at stake in the Imtech Arena after both teams lost their opening matches.
Hamburg head coach Michael Oenning made three changes to the team that was whipped by defending champs Dortumund, bringing on young Korean striker Heung Min Son for Paolo Guerrero and new acquisitions Jeffrey Bruma and Per Skejlbred for Gojko Kacar and Tomas Rincón.
Hertha frontman Markus Babel opted for a more offensive approach with Brazialian playmaker Rafael in the starting eleven.
The hosts were determined to keep possession early on, while the guests were content to sit back and threaten on the counter attack. Berlin pounced early and often with former Hamburg striker Tunay Torun coming close in the third and eighth minutes, while Rafael put his shot from just outside the box in the 13th minute just over the bar.
Berlin continued to wait patiently, whereas Hamburg lacked the creativity and grit to break down their opponents. It seemed that every time Hamburg tried to push forward, their passes with either intercepted or off-target.
After Hamburg lost possession again, Berlin fullback Patrick Lell found some space to cross to Ramos, who only missed by inches in the 24th minute.
Then completely against the run of play, Hamburg striker Mladen Petric was pulled down in the box by Andre Mijatovic. Referee Wolfgang Stark had no choice but to point to the spot; Petric converted easily in the 25th minute to open the scoring.
Despite the setback, Berlin continued to amass chance after chance. In the 33rd minute, it looked like the guests were sure to score. But first the woodwork denied Lell, before Drobny got a hand to Rafael's follow-up shot redirecting it off the post.
Just over ten minutes later, the guests got their well deserved equalizer. Görkhan Töre needlessly lost possession in his own half, which led to a quick counter. Defender Andreas Ottl received the ball just outside the penalty area and blasted a right-footed shot to Drobny's right. The keeper did well to get a hand on it, but could do nothing about Torun's rebound, which the young Turk curled inside the far post.
Torun almost made it two in as many minutes, but his spinning shot was sent against the side netting. Shortly thereafter Mr. Stark blew the halftime whistle.
The second half started the same as the first, with Hamburg lackadaisically passing the ball back and forth, while Berlin applied pressure and countered effectively.
It only took a minute for Berlin to nearly score; this time it was Ramos, who juked out Hamburg captain Heiko Westermann with a quick step-over before his lofted shot rattled the post - the third time in the game that Hamburg was saved by the woodwork.
In a game that was marked by lots of poor decisions by Hamburg, it was Berlin who shot themselves in the foot.
Central defender Maik Franz and central midfielder Peter Niemeyer combined to carelessly lose the ball deep in their own half to an onrushing Son in the 61st minute. Son gladly took the ball, turned on the afterburners and powered his shot past keeper Thomas Kraft for a 2-1 lead.
Berlin was now visibly shaken after conceding the goal. Hamburg, on the other hand, was looking for the knockout blow. To stem the tide and make a last push for an equalizer, head coach Babel brought on Morales for Patrick Ebert in the 67th minute. It was Morales' first appearance for the senior team in the Bundesliga and just his second in all competitions.
But it was Hamburg, who remained in the driver's seat. Töre nearly polished off Hertha in the 79th minute, but keeper Kraft was up to the task to save the low shot.
In the 88th minute, Berlin got the point they deserved in a back-and-forth contest. Rafael fired in his corner to the far post, where Drobny tried to punch clear. He missed and Mijatovic made no mistake by powering his header into an unguarded net for the game's final 2-2 score.
Morales has to be encouraged about getting his first minutes of the season and has reason to believe that he can factor in coach Babel's plans for next week's game against Hannover 96.
FC Ingolstadt 04 1 - 1 FSV Frankfurt
Edson Buddle made the most of his substitute appearance for Ingolstadt against FSV Frankfurt on Sunday, saving his team with a late equalizer.
Frankfurt took the lead following a corner shortly past the half-hour mark, in a game which saw both teams struggling with attacking creativity.
Buddle entered the game with his team down in the 75th minute, and proceeded to head in the equalizing goal 72 seconds after hitting the field to rescue the point.
Full in-depth details of the game are given in a Yanks Abroad press box report.
SC Paderborn 07 0 - 1 SpVgg Greuter Fürth
Matt Taylor saw approximately twenty minutes of action on Saturday, but was unable to help energize Paderborn's stagnant attack as they lost to perennial promotion candidates Greuther Fürth in a tight game.
Taylor started the match on the bench as Head coach Roger Schmidt picked Turkish midfielder Mehmet Kara for the starting eleven.
Fürth came into the match with a two-game winning streak, while Paderborn suffered a 3-0 loss in their last league match.
Both teams failed to get anything going early on, and the game's first real chance did not come until the 40th minute. Paderborn's central defender Jens Wemmer picked up an errant pass by Fürth midfielder Stephan Schröck and controlled neatly before thundering a powerful right-footed shot on goal that keeper Max Grün did well to punch aside.
Fürth came out of the locker room visibly more energetic than they were in the first half. They began to control the middle of the field and forced careless passes from the home team and almost scored in the 52nd minute.
A string of one touch passes ended with the ball on the wing and at the feet of Schröck, who sent in a low cross to the near post for Canadian striker Olivier Occean. Defender Christian Strohdiek, however, just managed to get an outstretched toe on the ball to redirect it off the post and out of danger.
Just a few minutes later, Paderborn nearly opened the scoring themselves as Enis Alusi took a pass just outside the box, deeked defender Heinrich Schmidtgal with a simple shoulder fake and hit the crossbar with a right-footed shot in the 56th minute.
Fürth then needed only a couple minutes to punish Paderborn for their generosity. Schröck earned a corner in the 59th minute, which Fürth midfielder Edgar Prib took. Prib curled it in to the near post, where Christopher Nöthe lost Alushi and placed his glancing header inside the far post for the 1-0 lead.
Taylor was then brought on in the 69th minute as Paderborn piled on the pressure in search of an equalizer. The added emphasis in attack made Paderborn susceptible to the counter attack. And Occean nearly put the game to bed in the 78th minute, but keeper Lukas Kruse stopped the Canadian's strike from close range.
Taylor had the game's last chance in the 90th minute, but failed to really connect with his shot from the right corner of the box, posing no problems for Grün. Shortly thereafter, the final whistle blew giving Fürth their third straight win, while Paderborn lost for the second time in as many games.
Next week Paderborn travel to Dresden for a date with Dynamo, while Fürth entertain Edson Buddle and Ingolstadt.
SV Babelsberg 1 - 3 FC Saarbrücken
Amaechi Igwe got the nod in defense for Babelsberg, but the team found themselves on the losing end against one-time 1. Bundesliga club, and former home to US soccer hall of famer Eric Wynalda, FC Saarbrücken.
Igwe and Babelsberg had gotten off to a good start in the new season, capturing five points from the first three games. The day could not have started any worse for the home team, though, as Saarbrücken only needed three minutes to open the scoring.
Saabrücken striker Sven Sökler found some space in the box before cutting inside of defender Matthias Kühne and sending his left-footed shot past the keeper before Igwe could close him down.
Babelsberg's head coach Dietmar Demuth went to his bench early and brought on striker Markus Müller in the 39th minute. Müller repaid his coach's faith post-haste, as he headed home Igwe's corner to level the score in the 42nd minute. The assist was Igwe's first of the year.
Igwe got his name on the stat sheet once again in the 44th minute, after he got into a verbal confrontation with Saarbrücken keeper Enver Marina and cautioned both players, bringing Igwe's card total to two on the year.
Babelsberg was the better team after the break, but failed to capitalize. Saarbrücken made them pay in the 65th minute, as Marius Laux headed home a deflected throw-in from close range to put the guests in front.
After throwing everything at Saarbrücken for the better part of twenty minutes, the guests put the match out of reach as Kai Gehring danced around Babelsberg keeper Marian Unger and slid the ball home after a quick counter attack in the 88th minute.
Igwe and Babelsberg will have to forget about this one quickly with games coming fast and furious in the 3. Bundesliga. Babelsberg will hope to get back on track this Wednesday as they travel to Preußen Münster.
Jermaine Jones did not dress for Schalke's 5-1 thrashing of last place Cologne, as head coach Ralf Rangick gave him the day off after playing for the US Men's National Team against Mexico on Wednesday.
Daniel Williams is still feeling the effects of a contract dispute, and was not named to the gameday roster for Freiburg's 2-1 defeat to Mainz on Saturday.
David Yelldell looked on from the bench, as Leverkusen avoided a catastrophic start to the new Bundesliga season by defeating Werder Bremen 1-0.
Luis Robles had to watch from the sidelines once again as Dirk Orlishausen got the start between the sticks in Karlsruhe's 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Braunschweig. Karlsruhe will make the journey to the former East Germany to tackle Energie Cottbus on Sunday.
Bobby Wood was an unused substitute in Munich's 4-0 shutout of Aue on Sunday. Wood and Munich travel to Düsseldorf on Friday to take on Fortuna.
Preston Zimmerman failed to see any action in Darmstadt's 5-1 drubbing of Arminia Bielefeld. Zimmerman will hope to get off the bench on Tuesday as Darmstadt take on Wiesbaden in the Hessian derby.