RECAP: WEEKEND GERMAN ACTION
The Bundesliga got back underway as Timmy Chandler manned the defensive flanks for Nuremburg and Daniel Williams made his debut alongside Fabian Johnson for 1899 Hoffenheim.
Mainz 05 0 - 4Hoffenheim
Fabian Johnson got the starting nod and Daniel Williams made his debut in the second half as 1899 Hoffenheim thrashed Mainz 05 on the road to pick up their third victory of the season.
Head coach Holger Stanislavski opted to start newcomer Williams on the bench, but went with Johnson in his familiar attacking midfield role. Both were surely anxious to get on the field to showcase their talents after Juergen Klinsman dropped by to observe Hoffenheim's two new Americans at practice on Friday.
The game enjoyed a lively opening 15 minutes, and although both sides saw plenty of the ball it was Hoffenheim that had the better start. Dutch striker Ryan Babel squandered a golden opportunity in the seventh minute as he was unable to beat Mainz keeper Heinz Müller after being played in by a pin-point pass from Brazilian playmaker Roberto Firmino.
In the 16th minute, it was Firmino once again in the middle of the action. Mainz defender Eugen Polanski was dispossessed by the Brazilian deep in his own half. Firmino then kept his cool, skirted past Müller and slotted home with his left foot for the 1-0 lead.
Just before the first half came to a close, Ryan Babel was dropped in the box by defender Zdenek Pospech. Babel stepped up and converted from the spot for the 2-0 halftime score line.
In the 57th minute, Stanislavski brought on Williams for striker Mlapa to solidify the defense, but it was the defensive debutant setting up Babel's second goal with a perfectly weighted pass in the 76th minute to play Babel in behind the Mainz backline. The Dutchman then outran Niko Bungert, cut past Polanski and fired a powerful right-footed shot past Müller for an insurmountable 3-0 lead.
Mainz defender Nikolce Noveski then capped off an afternoon to forget for the home squad with an own goal after attempting to deal with Firmino's cross.
The 4-0 victory was the first win ever for Hoffenheim against Mainz.
Next week Hoffenheim host VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday. After an encouraging debut for Hoffenheim, it will be interesting to see if Williams can crack the starting lineup. Hoffenheim sit in fifth place with nine points from five games.
VfB Stuttgart 3 - 0 Hannover 96
Hannover 96 captain Steve Cherundolo played 90 minutes in defense on Saturday as the Lower Saxons lost for the first time this year falling to VfB Stuttgart in the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
Stuttgart made their presence known early, keeping Hannover's dangerous counter-attack in check by getting physical and giving the guests no room to operate; Cherundolo was on the receiving end of Christian Molinaro's elbow in the seventh minute and needed treatment.
Just as he came back, the hosts took the lead with their first chance of the match. Martin Harnik crossed for Japanese striker Okazaki, who reacted quicker than the aforementioned Cherundolo, and fired the ball under the crossbar for the 1-0 lead.
Hannover needed a good 10 minutes to put the goal behind them, but save Sergio Pinto's long-distant effort in the 22nd minute the guests could not break their opponents down. Stuttgart nearly let the guests back into the game in the 35th minute, when Dutch defender Khalid Boulahrouz deflected Konstantin Rausch's cross that was speeding for the far 90. Only a stellar save by Stuttgart keeper Sven Ulreich prevented the own goal.
After the break it was another error by Stuttgart that nearly gave the guests an equalizer. Mexican defender Maza made a massive boot, turning over the ball to striker Lars Stindl in a dangerous spot. Stindl then laid of for his fellow striker Didier Ya Konan, but Ulreich saved the day for the home team once again, stopping the Ivorian's shot and Stindl's rebound.
It was not until the 79th minute that the hosts could put the game away as Stuttgart's Serbian midfielder Kuzmanovic fired in a shot from 27 yards out to beat Hannover's Ron-Robert Zieler. Just 8 minutes Stuttgart piled on the pain for the guests as Serdar Tasci knocked in Pavel Pogrebnyak's cross from short range for the final 3-0 score.
It was Hannover's first loss on the season and it will not get any easier next week as they entertain Borussia Dortmun in Hannover on Sunday.
FC Cologne 1 - 2 FC Nurnberg
Timmy Chandler assumed his starting fullback spot for Dieter Hecking, going the distance and helping Nuremberg score another win, this time against Cologne in Sunday Bundesliga action.
The action picked up in the 31st minute as Nuremberg's Markus Feulner was brought down in the box by Cologne's Brazilian defender Pedro Geromel. Belgian midfielder stepped up to the spot and beat keeper Michael Rensing for the 1-0 lead.
Just four minutes later it was a repeat performance by the players involved in the 31st as Geromel once again fouled a Nuremberger, this time tackling young Czech striker Tomas Pekhart in the area. Simmons stepped up and converted the ensuing penatly kick with ease for the 2-0 lead.
Cologne was undeterred, and pulled one back just five minutes later as Slovomir Peszko played in a nice ball to German striker Lukas Poldolski, whose hard, left-footed shot was spilled by Alexander Stephan landing at the feet of Adil Chihi, who easily tapped home making it 2-1.
Although Nuremberg was reduced to ten men after Pekhart was sent to the showers for repeated bookable offenses, Cologne could not get anything going offensively. With the straight red card shown to Miso Brecko in the 75th minute for a reckless foul on Feulner, Cologne's hopes of netting an equalizer suffered an insurmountable blow. Nuremberg killed off the game and took all three points.
The victory leaves Nuremberg in seventh place with nine points from five games. Next up for Dieter Hecking's men is a home game against resurgent Werder Bremen on Saturday.
Union Berlin 4 - 1 Ingolstadt 04
Edson Buddle started for Igolstadt against Berlin on Sunday, but was subbed off early due to injury and was unable to help as he watched his squad squander an early lead to lose in 2. Bundesliga action.
In the opening minutes of the game, Buddle collided with Berlin defender Patrick Kohlmann and had to be taken off to receive treatment. He was able to continue, and had a hand in the opening goal. After shaking off both Kohlmann and Ahmed Madouni, Buddle found fullback Moise Bambara in space on the right. Bambara then crossed for Moritz Hartmann, who was wide open in front of goal and easily tapped the ball over the line.
Shortly thereafter, Buddle was subbed off as he could not continue.
It was all down hill from there for Igolstadt. Christian Stuff outjumped his defender after a freekick in the 21st minute to equalizer with a well-placed header.
Not ten minutes later, the hoime team took the deserved lead as Berlin combined well with the ball eventually making its way to Brazilian striker Silvio, whose silky first touch put him past his defender and into space in front of goal. From there he made no mistake putting the ball into the back of the net with his right foot for the 2-1 lead.
Right after the restart, Berlin extended their lead when Torsten Matttushka took the backend of a give and go with Silvio and then deeked Igolstadt keeper Sascha Kirschstein to slide the ball over the line in the 49th minute for the 3-1 score.
Silvio then rounded out the scoring late in the game with his second goal as he took Simon Terodde's pass and curled in his right-footed shot for the 4-1 final score.
The extent and severity of Buddle's injury was not clear after the game, so it will be interesting to see if he factors into Ingolstadt's plans for next week's home game against Dresden on Friday.
SC Paderborn 0 - 0 Alemania Aachen
Matt Taylor got the start and played just under 70 minutes for Paderborn, but could not help his team grab an ellusive goal on Friday.
Paderborn had a couple of early chances, but both Taylor in the 4th minute and Nick Proschwitz in the 10th minute failed to find the target. The hosts best chance of the first half came in the 25th minute, but striker Kara could only manage to hit the post from 3 yards out, even though he was wide open.
The rattled woodwork seemed to wake up the last place guests, who finally managed to muster a couple of half chances with shots from distance in the 28th and 32nd minutes. In the 35th minute, Paderborn's defender Strohdiek lost track of Aachen striker Junglas, but his shot was expertly saved by Paderborn keeper Kruse.
In the second half, both teams pressed for a goal with Paderborn's Meha having the best shot at scoring, but his shot in the 76th minute was saved by Aachen's keeper Waterman.
Ultimately both teams were either unable to beat the oppossing keeper or were stopped by the woodwork. It was Paderborn's second goalless draw in as many games. They will try to buck the trend next week when they visit VfL Bochum on Sunday.
Babelsberg 1 - 2 Unterhaching
Amaechi Igwe was on the losing end of a frustrating encounter with Unterhaching that saw his team play well, take the lead but come up short in 3. Bundesliga play.
Babelsberg started brightly and controlled the run of play, but failed to turn their possession into goals. That all changed in the 25th minute as Kauffmann danced around a couple of defenders before calling his own number to slot past the keeper.
The goal woke up the guests, who began playing more confidently and grabbed an equalizer just ten minutes later when Stegmayer's corner was headed in by Tunjic. It was the last noteworthy action of the first half.
After the restart, the game was open and both teams had chances to take the lead. Babelsberg's offense was negated by several offsides against, while the guests relied on set pieces. In the 70th minute the guests scored again off a corner as Sternisko fired in a rebound past keeper Unger.
Babelsberg is back in action on Wednesday as they travel to Chemnitz.
Jermaine Jones did not make the gameday roster for Schalke 04 as they lost to VfL Wolfsburg 2-1 on Sunday.
Preston Zimmerman was an unused substitue for Darmstadt as they fell to Wacker Burghausen 3-2.
Ricardo Clark was named to the gameday roster but did not see any action as promotion hopefuls Eintracht Frankfurt tied Energie Cottbus 3-3, for their second tie in as many games.
Bobby Wood sat on the bench as 1860 Munich were pummeled by St. Pauli 4-1.
Luis Robles did not play as Karlsruhe continued their nosedive falling to Dusseldorf 4-2.