RECAP: WEEKEND GERMAN ACTION
Steve Cheundolo and Tim Chandler both started in their usual fullback positions, while Fabian Johnson got his first start in a Hoffenheim jersey since receiving a call - up from Jürgen Klinsmann to the US men's national team.
Hannover 96 1 - 1 Mainz 05
Coming off a euphoric tie against Sevilla, which ensured progression to the group stage of the Europa League, captain Steve Cherundolo went the distance as Hannover 96 and Mainz 05 shared the spoils in Sunday Bundesliga action.
The game had only just begun when the guests from Mainz took the lead. Marco Caligiuri dribbled past three Hannover defenders and found striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting just outside the area. The Cameroonian laid off wide for Danish midfielder Marcel Risse, whose one time pass landed at Tunisian striker Sami Allagui's feet. He fired one-time with his left foot into the upper 90 from close range, leaving newly-nominated German keeper Ron-Robert Zieler with no chance.
Shellshocked by the quick opener Hannover almost fell behind further again in the 16th and 24th minutes, with Hungarian midfielder Robert Noveski rattling the woodwork both times to bail out the hosts.
Hannover needed a half an hour to recover, and did so in typical 96 fashion. Noveski's errant pass was picked off in midfield by Jan Schlaudraff, who quickly found Konstantin Rausch on the left wing. Rausch then took a touch before crossing to Norwegian striker Mohammed Abdellaoue, who had lost his defenders to slot home unmolested with his left foot.
In an attractive match that saw both sides with a plethora of chances, neither team could find the back of the net. The aforementioned Rausch hit the crossbar in the 57th minute, and Mainz came close in the 67th minute, only to see Cherundolo clear Risse's pass to safety before it could reach Allagui.
Despite the tie, Hannover have picked up where they left off a year ago, and are in fourth place after four matches with seven points to show for their efforts. After the international break, Hannover travel to Stuttgart to take on the VfB.
FC Nürnberg 1 - 0 FC Augsburg
See David Smith's Press Box Report[endlink]
Hoffenheim 1 - 2 SV Werder Bremen
Fabian Johnson and Hoffenheim dropped points at home as Werder Bremen kept their torrid start to the season going by notching a come from behind victory at Rhein-Neckar Arena on Saturday.
Scant days after getting a call from Juergen Klinsman for what would be his first taste of international duty, Johnson made his fourth consecutive start for head coach Holger Stanislavski in midfield, and played the full 90.
Hoffenheim got on the board first in the 37th minute after Brazilian midfielder Roberto Firmino just managed to stay onside and receive a well-timed pass from Hoffenheim captain Andreas Beck. Firmino then spun and shot quickly to beat Tim Wiese far post for the game opener.
Hoffenheim were still celebrating when the guests struck back. Defender Marin Commper misjudged Lukas Schmitz' rainbow cross letting Austrian striker Marko Arnautovic get onto it and slot a right-footed shot past keeper Tom Starke.
Swedish striker Markus Rosenberg came off the bench in the 74th minute and bagged the winner in the 83rd. Claudio Pizarro sent in a cross from the right flank that the Swede finished neatly, whipping in a volley from about eight yards out.
Hoffenheim and Johnson have two weeks before the Bundesliga resumes, at which time they will travel Mainz.
FC Igolstadt 3 - 1 Hansa Rostock
Edson Buddle got the start and played just over an hour as he helped secure a vital three points for his FC Igolstadt against Hansa Rostock in the Audi-Sportpark on Friday.
Buddle was one of four newcomer's in head coach Benno Möhlmann's starting 11. The shake up to the lineup paid dividends early as the home team got off to a great start with Buddle coming tantalizingly close to scoring in the 10th minute, but his right-footed shot just flew past the post.
In the 23rd minute, playmaker Stefan Leitl played a simple ball to striker Moritz Hartmann, who rocketed his shot right at Rostock keeper Kevin Müller. Müller was unable to hang on to the ball, letting it trickle through his hands into the back of the net for the game's first tally.
The guests from northern Germany needed until 56th minute to net an equalizer, and once again the goal was the result of some shoddy keeping. Mohammed Lartey sent in a sharp cross and keeper Sascha Kirschstein, coming off his line, flew right past the ball and defender Kevin Pannewitz had no difficulties heading into an empty net.
About 15 minutes later Rostock's Sebastian Pelzer was adjudged to have fouled Igolstadt's Andreas Büchner in the area, although replays showed that the defender clearly played the ball. Leitl took the spot kick and made no mistake putting the home team up for good.
In second half stoppage time, Igolstadt was awarded yet another penalty kick, and once again it was Leitl who gave the home fans one for the road securing the 3-1 win.
The victory leaves Igolstadt with five points and in 14th place. Next up for Buddle and Igolstadt is a trip to the capital to take on Union Berlin.
Babelsberg 1 - 1 Kickers Offenbach
Amaechi Igwe played a full 90 minutes, and picked up his fourth caution of the young season, as Babelberg's came from behind late to snatch a point from Kickers Offenbach on Saturday.
The first half of the match failed to deliver any goals, but had plenty of hard tackling. The consequence was a total of four yellow cards doled out by referee Wingenbach.
The goals came late. Babelsberg's keeper Marian Unger came off his line in the 83rd minute to cut down the angle for onrushing Offenbach striker Pascal Testroet, who was played into space by Sead Mehic. Testroet kept his cool and chipped the keeper for what he and the home fans thought was certain victory.
Referee Wingenbach whistled for a penalty in the 89th minute and Babelsberg striker Dominik Stroh-Engel converted easily to give the guests a point.
With the point Igwe and Babelsberg are now in 12th place with a total of eight points. They will play host to Unterhaching in their next match.
SV Darmstadt 0 - 2 RW Erfurt
Preston Zimmerman started for SV Darmstadt going the full 90, but could not help jumpstart the attack as they fell to Rot-Weiss Erfurt in the 3. Bundesliga on Saturday.
In the 31st minute, Darmstad keeper Jan Zimmermann did well to save Rudolf Zedi's header off of a corner but the keeper could do nothing about Marcel Reichwein's rebound shot, which found the back off the net for the 1-0 score.
The home team put the game away in the 79th minute as striker Smail Morabit's found space with Darmstadt pressing for an equalizer and started a quick counter attack. He crossed for striker Oliver Caillas and found his man, who then finished off a very nice attacking move with a right footed shot to put Erfurt up 2-0 and keep the three points in the Stiegerwald Stadium.
Zimmerman and Darmstadt are now sitting in 13th place with eight points from seven games. Up next is a home game against Wacker Burghausen on the 10th of September.
International midfield teammates Jermaine Jones and Michael Bradley were not involved when Schalke 04 defeated Borussia Moenchengladbach 1-0.
Despite a slew of injuries, Daniel Williams did not get off the bench for Freiburg on Saturday as they took care of VfL Wolfsburg 3-0.
David Yelldell was on the bench for Leverkusen's goalless tie against Borussia Dortmund.
Bobby Wood made the bench, but did not see any action as 1860 Munich knocked off Union Berlin 3-1 on Sunday.
Ricardo Clark did not dress and Matt Taylor was an unused substitute in Sunday's 1-1 tie between Eintrach Frankfurt and SC Paderborn.
Luis Robles will be happy not to have played for Karlsruhe on Saturday, as they were trounced in front of their home fans by FSV Frankfurt 4-0.