RECAP: WEEKEND GERMAN ACTION
Jermaine Jones and Fabian Johnson earned starts as their teams earned draws, while Timmy Chandler and Nürnberg continued their free fall into the bottom of the standings.
1899 Hoffenheim 1 - 1 FC Kaiserslautern
Fabian Johnson got the start and Danny Williams saw roughly 30 minutes of action as Hoffenheim were lucky to get a point as they tied Bundesliga strugglers on Saturday in the Rhein-Nekar Arena.
Johnson was one of four changes head coach Holger Stanislavski made after he was less than pleased with the overall effort by his squad a week earlier in a 3-1 defeat against Schalke, meaning Williams had to first take a seat on the bench.
Even though Kaiserslautern came into the match at the wrong end of the standings, they certainly did not play like a team fighting for survival. They came out and took the game to Hoffenheim, creating chances and dominating possession. As has been the case all year, however, the Palatinates showed off their inability to score despite excellent chances in the 4th, 12th and 29th minutes.
As so often happens, wastefulness is punished, and Hoffenheim did just that as Vedad Ibisevic scored on Hoffenheim's first real threatening appearance in front of goal with the Bosnian tapping home from close range in the 33rd minute.
Stanislavski brought on Williams in the 60th minute to shore things up in midfield and the midfielder needed all of 8 minutes to pick up his second yellow card of the year.
The second half was a repeat of the first, with Hoffenheim only moderately dangerous from set pieces and Kaiserslautern creating and wasting chances.
The guests, however, were not to be denied, and managed an equalizer in the 73rd minute as Richard Sukuta-Pasu chested down Christian Tiffert's cross to Cameroon striker Dorge Rostand Kouemaha, who blasted a one-time volley into the upper right corner past a flying Tom Starke in the Hoffenheim goal.
Both times pressed for a winner, but neither had the combination to unlock the opposing defense as the match ended in a 1-1 stalemate.
Hoffenheim now sits in 9th place with 17 points. On the 20th of November Hoffenheim resume their Bundesliga campaign with a trip to Hamburg to take on the HSV.
Hannover 96 2 - 2 Schalke 04
Jermaine Jones got the nod once again for the Königsblauen of Schalke 04, while Steve Cherundolo could not crack the starting lineup for Hannover as both teams took a point from their Sunday 1. Bundesliga encounter.
Hannover head coach Mirko Slomka opted for Tunesian Sofian Chahed at right back in the starting 11, which meant that Cherundolo would have to wait to make his return after serving a one-game suspension.
Schalke head man Huub Stevens was forced into one change; Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar broke his nose in mid-week Europa League action, which gave late-summer signee Teemu Pukki his first start.
The match proved to be a chess match in the opening minutes, as both teams were content to consolidate their respective man power in the middle of the field without risking too much in attack lest they be caught on the counter - something that both teams can do expertly.
Try as they might, Hannover were indeed caught on the counter attack in the 26th minute. After Chahed lost possession in Schalke's half, Raul played to Christian Fuchs on the left flank, who then played a pinpoint through-ball to Pukki. The Finn turned on the afterburners and outran the defense before rounding keeper Ron-Robert Zieler and slotting home with his left for the 1-0 lead.
Just three minutes later Hannover got back on level terms thanks to Kyriakos Papadopoulos' own goal after he directed Christian Pander's free kick into the back of his own net with his head.
Hannover took the lead in the 51st minute as Jan Schlaudraf played in an impeccable one-time cross with the outside of his right boot to Mohamed Abdellaoue, whose header wrong footed Schalke keeper Lars Unnerstall for the 2-1.
Schalke, however, pulled even in the 73rd minute as Pukki notched his second after Peruvian winger Jefferson Farfan played him into space in the box, where the young Finn hit a spinning shot past keeper Zieler.
Both teams kept playing attacking soccer in pursuit of a winner, but it was not meant to be as both teams proved to be each other's equal and had to settle for a point apiece.
Jones picked up his third yellow card of the season in the waning moments of the first half. When the Bundesliga resumes on the 19th of November, Hannover and Cherundolo travel to face neighboring Wolfburg, while Schalke entertain Timmy Chandler and Nürnberg.
FC Nürnberg 1 - 2 SC Freiburg
Timmy Chandler went the distance for Dieter Hecking and Nürnberg on Saturday, but it was not enough as they dropped a close one and continued their free fall further down the standings.
Head coach Hecking made 5 changes to the squad that was thumped a week ago at the hands of Bayern Munich in what was a must-win game for the Franconians.
Nürnberg started brightly and hand some excellent chances to score, with fleet-of-foot striker Alexander Esswein giving the right side of Freiburg's defense all it could handle.
In the 32nd minute, the hosts took the lead after the aforementioned Esswein pirouetted past former German national team player Andreas Hinkel on the edge of the box before cutting back a pass to Czech striker Tomas Pekhardt, whose scuffed shot was nodded home by Mike Frantz from close range.
Freiburg needed only 120 seconds to tie things back up, albeit as a result of some questionable goal keeping and a healthy dose of fortune. Julian Schuster sent a long ball to the vicinity of the edge of the box, for which keeper Rafeal Schaeffer inexplicably came off his line. Jan Rosenthal did not know much about it as he got his foot onto it as he was losing his balance, but the ball found its way into the empty net to tie things up.
That was the last piece of noteworthy action in an entertaining and open contest between two struggling sides.
Nürnberg thought they had taken the lead in the 57th minute, but referee Christian Dingert waved off Esswein's goal for offsides, as Pekhardt was adjudged to have impeded keeper Frank Baumann's vision from an offside position.
Things looked to be heading for a split of the spoils until in the first minute of second-half stoppage time Nürnberg's Tim Klose botched his headed pass back to keeper Alexander Stephan, who had come on to replace the injured Schaeffer, playing it right to the feet of Freiburg's Rosenthal. Stephan came racing off his line to close down the angle, but could only foul Rosenthal leaving Dingert no choice but to award the guests with a penalty. Papiss Demba Cissé stepped up and coolly converted giving last-place Freiburg their first road victory of the year.
Nürnberg is back in action on the 19th of November as they travel to Schalke to take on Jermaine Jones and the Königsblauen.
Karlsruhe 3 - 2 Ingolstadt
Luis Robles and Edson Buddle faced off against each other in a battle of two teams at the wrong end of the standings as Karslruhe hosted Ingolstadt in Friday 2. Bundesliga action.
Robles was handed his second start in a row for injured number 1 Dirk Orlishausen, and first under new interim head coach Markus Kauczinski, who replaced Teddy Scharinger on Monday after Karlsruhe had slipped down into the drop zone.
Igolstadt's head coach Benno Möhlmann handed Buddle a rare road start as the skipper decided to include his team's leading scorer in the starting lineup.
The scoring started early in the Karlsruhe Wildpark Stadion as the visitors used a set piece to strike first in the 13th minute. Brazilian striker Caiuby whipped in an in-swinging cross from the right that defender, and captain, Malte Metzelder rose up to get to and fire past Robles.
13 minutes later, Karlsruhe responded and equalized with a set piece of their own as Dennis Kempe tracked down Sebastian Shiek's corner to tap in from a half of a yard out to knot things up.
After that both teams play was decidedly more cautious, and as a result there was little in the way of offensive action.
At the break, Möhlmann brought on Ahmed Akaici for Buddle, thus drawing a disappointing 45 minutes to a close for the hard-working striker.
Just 12 minutes after the halftime break, Karlsruhe was awarded a penalty kick as Klemen Lavric went down in the box, although replays showed contact was minimal at best. It could not have mattered less to Karlsruhe captain Alexander Iashvilli, who stepped up to the spot and converted giving Karlsruhe its first lead of the game.
Karlsruhe then doubled their advantage in the 76th minute, and once again it was Lavric in the middle of action. The Slovenian was played nicely in a one-on-one situation with just his defender between him and keeper Sascha Kirschstein. Lavric shielded the ball expertly from his man before cutting quickly once to the middle and then playing the ball back onto his right foot before beating Kirschstein for the 3-1 lead.
Igolstadt's Moritz Hartmann pulled one back for the guests in the 86th minute as he put a left-footed shot past Roble's after a long ball found him in front of goal. The goal also brought the German level with Buddle for the team scoring lead
That was the last of the game's action as Karlsruhe held on to secure three vital points.
After the international break, KSC will take on Matt Taylor and Paderborn and Igolstadt will host 1860 Munich on the 18th of November.
Energie Cottbus 0 - 2 SC Paderborn
Matt Taylor started on the bench, got just over 20 minutes of action and played a decisive role in the game's final goal as Paderborn shut out Cottbus on Sunday in the 2. Bundesliga.
The match's first 45 minutes saw little in the way of adventurous attacking soccer, as both teams were preoccupied with defending, and whenever they did move forward errant passing brought the forays into the attacking third to a halt.
In the 68th minute, Paderborn striker Daniel Brückner fired a hard left-footed shot from about 5 yards out right at keeper Thorsten Kirschbaum, whose kick save bounced off of Cottbus defender Christian Müller and into the back of the net for an own goal and the 1-0 lead for Paderborn.
In the 72nd minute, Taylor, who came on just five minutes earlier, somewhat fortuitously got around Adam Straith in the box, before the Cottbus defender pulled him down for an obvious penalty; Nick Proschwitz converted easily from the spot for the two-goal advantage.
Cottbus could not mount any last-minute heroics and the match ended 2-0 for the guests.
Taylor and Paderborn will be in action again on the 18th of November as they host Karlsruhe.
David Yelldell was an unused substitute for Bayer Leverkusen as they tied Hamburg 2-2 on Saturday night.
Alfredo Morales was not named to the bench by Berlin coach Markus Babel, as they fell to Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-1 at home.
Bobby Wood was an unused substitute for 1860 Munich as they defeated Bochum 3-1 on Saturday in the 2. Bundesliga.
Amaechi Igwe was a late substitute as Babelsberg took care of Ahlen 3-1 in Saturday 3. Bundesliga action.
Preston Zimmerman was not named to the gameday squad for Darmstadt, who thumped Jena 3-0 on Friday.