Weekend sports action for local clubs

So, how was your weekend?  Probably not as good as Generali Haching, who won their third consecutive domestic cup Sunday afternoon.  Read about it here.

As for the other clubs in town, it was not positive on the pitch - a devastating loss and a disappointing draw.  On the ice and hardwood, the teams roll on.  Here's your wrap up.

On the brink - FC Bayern München have lost three matches in a row, and are in line to lose more than just matches in the coming days.

Hannover 96 got goals from Mohammed Abdellaoue, Konstantin Rausch, and Sergio Pinto and solidified their spot for a Champions League qualification berth with a 3-1 win over Bayern Saturday afternoon in Bundesliga action.

Bayern can't bear to watch their own demiseArjen Robben scored the lone goal for the visitors, but it wasn't enough to keep the defending champions from dropping into further turmoil. 

In just 8 days, FCB have suffered three defeats that eliminated them from the Bundesliga title race, the German domestic cup competition, and possibly a spot in next year's Champions League.

"We are all disappointed with the match and the result," said team president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.  "The way we played today, that was the lowest point of our season."

And it could get lower.  Next week, Bayern host Inter Milan in the return leg of the knockout stage of this year's Champions League.  Munich won the 1st leg 1-0 at the San Siro but after the team's recent form, that lead may not be safe from the Italians to overcome.  A loss in the competition may cost Louis van Gaal his job as head coach.

It is not far-fetched to assume van Gaal may be replaced.  Two years ago, when it was evident Jürgen Klinsmann had lost leadership of the club and Bayern may not qualify for Europe, management fired Klinsmann and replaced him with Jupp Heynckes.  The team stormed back to earn 2nd place in the table and accomplished the minimum goal.

However this year, there may not be a silver lining.  FCB sit 5th in the table, 7 points out of the automatic berth.  Hannover occupy the qualification spot, 5 points clear of Bayern.  And no candidate has emerged to spark this club back to life.  Tough matches lie ahead, including next week's match at the Allianz Arena versus Hamburg.  Kickoff is at 15:30 on Saturday.

Home is where the draw is - TSV 1860 München continue to show their fans new levels of disappointment this season, and Friday night was no different.

The Lions are falling and can't get upA week after winning a match on the road in the final minutes, they gave up a goal in the 85th minute Friday that lead to their 6th draw at home, a 1-1 result against Red-White Oberhausen.

Benjamin Lauth scored his 11th goal of the season in the 73rd minute to give the Lions a 1-0 lead.  Two minutes later, Stefan Aigner could have sealed the victory but was stopped by Oberhausen's keeper Sören Pirson.

Substitute Daniel Gordon was able to win a header off a flank from teammate Oliver Petersch and earn the draw with a goal five minutes from time.

"We saw today, that this winless streak the past month at home is in our heads," lamented 1860 head coach Reiner Maurer.  "We are always giving away the match."

The Lions travel to Bielefeld next weekend to taken on DSC Arminia and return home on March 13th to host Karlruher SC at the Allianz Arena.

EHC clinch playoff birth - David Wrigley scored two goals to help EHC overcome an early deficit and defeat the Krefeld Penguins 3-2 in the penalty shootout.  The win clinches a playoff spot for the club in its first year in the DEL, German hockey's top flight.

Eric Schneider scores in the shootout against the Penguins"We are in the playoffs in our debut season, which is unique" said Sports Director Christian Winkler.  "We are proud of our accomplishment, and what comes after, it's just icing on the cake."

There was more reason to worry than celebrate only a minute into the game.  Krefeld's Boris Blank scored 57 seconds in to the game to give the 4,449 fans at the King Palace a reason to cheer.  Six and half minutes later Blank assisted on Pascal Trepanier's power play goal and the Penguins led 2-0.

EHC however turned it around, getting a power play goal themselves from Wrigley 6:39 into the 2nd period.  Wrigley would get another assist from Dylan Gyori and even up the game 5 minutes into the final frame.  After a scoreless overtime, Kyle Helms and Eric Schneider were able to beat Penguins goaltender Scott Langkow.  Both attempts from Krefeld were turned away by Munich's Sebastian Elwing.

The win was Munich's second consecutive come-from-behind victory.  On Friday, they shocked the Panthers in Augsburg with 3 unanswered goals in the final period.  EHC now improve back up to 6th in the table with only two more matches left in the regular season.  They hope to improve their standing to avoid the pre-playoffs by continuing their win streak.  After traveling to Berlin Friday night to take on the Ice Bears in Berlin, the final regular season match is at Olympia Eissportzentrum on Sunday against local rival ERC Ingolstadt.  The derby faces off at 14:30.

Bayern Basketball outduel Knights - Aleksandar Nadjfeji scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds Sunday evening to lead Bayern 82-61 over VfL Kirchheim.  Wyrick Beckham added 9 points and four other players each added 8 points in the team-effort.

The game was much different than the shootout these two teams played back in November, a 100-90 win for Munich on the road.  In that game, Cedric Brooks and Gordon Scott combined for 43 points for the Knights.  This time around, they only tallied 17 points.

"Our approach is a defense-first mentality," said Bayern head coach Dirk Bauermann on stopping the high-octane tandem of the Knights.  "We struggled offensively, when you have nights like that, you better play better defensively."

In the first half, Bayern could only shoot 45% from the field, including 1-for-11 from beyond the arc.  But it was Nadjfeji scoring 16 of his game-high point total in the first half that kept his team ahead 39-33 at the half.

Aleksandar Nadjfeji leads the team to victory"(Nadjfeji) is as good as anybody finding gaps and holes in the opposing defense," commented Bauermann on his forward's performance.  "At this level he uses his cleverness and experience to make the defense look bad."

Bayern then turned up the defense at the beginning of the 3rd quarter, that led to a 11-2 run and a 15 point lead from which Kirchheim would never come back.  Bayern would outscore Kirchheim 43-28 in the 2nd half, mainly due to improved shooting and 6-of-10 from beyond the arc.

"As long as we defend and get stops on a consistent basis, we are going to score more than enough point to win the basketball game," Bauermann analyzed later.  "We had beautiful ball movement by making that extra pass.  We play with an element of patience and savvy and at the end of the day, it usually pays off."

The win is Bayern's 17th in a row and another win next week at Crailsheim will assure the club promotion to the German top flight, Basketball Bundesliga.

The team returns home to Munich Square Garden on March 19th to host BG Karlsruhe.  Tip off at 19:30.


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