Mixed Basket of Goodies

style="float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; font-weight: 600;"Mon 5th Sep, 2011

Weekend Wrap of the local pro sports action

Munich - Looking back on the weekend, it felt like the Easter Bunny pulled a 'trick or treat' on the local teams.  There was a championship celebration and a glorious home win.  But there were disappointing draws and a season-ending shocker.  Here's your weekend wrap.

Bayern Basketball accomplish Mission - With a 101-52 blowout of USC Freiburg, Bayern celebrated the ProA Championship and automatic promotion to the Basketball Bundesliga (BBL).

Lions dominate Derby - Just when the season seemed lost, TSV 1860 München have put together a solid run of matches to resurrect a football club and give hope to the suffering faithful.  On Saturday, Benjamin Lauth scored two goals as the Lions beat SpVgg Greuther Fürth 3-0 at Allianz Arena.

1860 have won their last three home matches by a total score of 12-1.  Despite winning 5 of their last eight matches, they remain 10 points from a promotion playoff.  Northern Bavarian club Fürth lost a great opportunity to move into that playoff spot currently occupied by struggling VfL Bochum 1848.

"That was an exciting match between two equal teams," said Lions head coach Reiner Maurer of the competitive derby.  "We are not playing for the same goals as Fürth, but it was great to see my team play with the same intensity in a pressure situation."

Lions midfieldfer Dominik Stahl opened up the scoring in the 26th minute.  A few minutes later, rising star Kevin Volland was fouled in the area and Lauth was called on for the penalty, and he converted for the 2-nil lead.  Lauth scored his career-best 16th goal in the 81st minute to clinch the club's 13th win of the season.

After the match, Maurer extended his contract and will remain the head coach till June 2012.  "I believe we showed we have enough potential for next season and we proved to our fans that it's worth to come to the matches," said Maurer hoping to not be alone at the stadium next year.

The question will be if they can keep talent like Lauth to build on their accomplishments this year.  "When the club secures it's future, we will sit down together," said the one-time German international who's contract expires at the end of this season.  "Of course, Maurer staying makes the decision easier."

"Sechzig" travel to the capital city Friday evening to take on top-of-the-table Hertha BSC Berlin.  Fürth hosts Arminia Bielefeld on Saturday afternoon, hoping Bochum will have slipped up one more time.

FC Bayern tripped up in Frankfurt - As the classic Paula Abdul hit goes, "two steps forward... and two steps back", that's the best way to describe the second half of FC Bayern München's season.  Just when it seems they have turned the corner and start playing up to their expected talent- and salary-level, they come out flat and leave themselves open for criticism.

Needing a win Saturday to reclaim third on the Bundesliga table after a Hannover 96 win on Friday, the Reds could only muster a 1-1 draw against Eintracht Frankfurt at Commerzbank Arena.  Bayern remain in the hunt for the Champions League qualification, only one point behind.

"In our situation we have to win here," said interim Bayern head coach Andries Jonker.  "We showed too little the entire match to earn the win."

After a scoreless first half in which Bayern displayed more fire, Sebastian Rode gave the hosts the lead after he picked up a free ball in the area in the 53rd minute, bringing glee to the Frankfurt fans and shock to Munich.

As always, Bayern had many more chances, dominating possession 64-36% and outshooting their hosts 18-8.  But could only get a goal when Luiz Gustavo was taken down in the area shortly before the end of regulation.  Mario Gomez scored his league-leading 23rd goal.  Four minutes of stoppage time was still not enough to earn the all important three points.

"That was extremely disappointing," said forward Thomas Müller.  "We were much better in applying pressure throughout the match, but we didn't take advantage of our chances at the right time."

With three matches left, it looks like this race will go down to the last day.  Bayern have a tough road ahead, starting by hosting current Champions League semi-finalist FC Schalke Saturday evening at the Allianz Arena.  Hannover have an easier contest, as they host relegation-bound Borussia Monchengladbach.

Bavarian football round up

Nuremberg draw against Mainz - Der Club joined Bayern as a team who missed out on a tremendous opportunity over the weekend.  1. FC Nürnberg needed win Sunday to past their opponents FSV Mainz 05 in the table and control the final European spot for next season.  The match lived up to it's billing between two even clubs and it ended in a goalless draw.  Both clubs should battle this out till the last match, but Nuremberg will have a heady task of keeping pace when they travel to champion-in-waiting Borussia Dortmund.  BVB will be looking to clinch the league title in front of their fans.  Mainz host Frankfurt, who may be hungover after their big draw versus Bayern...

Augsburg streak ends - FC Augsburg picked the right time for their 10-match unbeaten streak to end.  Despite the 2-1 loss to Alemannia Aachen Sunday at impuls arena, FCA continue to hold a comfortable lead over the aforementioned struggling Bochum for the second automatic promotion spot to the Bundesliga.  Hertha should win the second division and Augsburg hope to join them if they can get back to their winning ways.  Aachen jumped out early, taking a 2-0 lead before the half-hour mark.  Stephan Hain pulled one back before halftime, making it 2-1 in the 40th minute but it wasn't enough.  FCA can clinch promotion on the road next Monday night at FC Energie Cottbus, and then can celebrate with fans on May 8th when they host FSV Frankfurt...

Ingolstadt holding steady - An eight match unbeaten streak has helped FC Ingolstadt 04 go from the threat of relegation to a temporary safe zone.  FCI should remain in the second division as long as they continue their recent form.  A 1-1 draw at 1.FC Union Berlin keeps them 8 points from the drop zone.  A win Saturday afternoon at home versus FC Erzebirge Aue will keep them above the relegation fray.

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