Hannover defender Steve Cherundolo finally made his Bundesliga return on Saturday, coming on as a late substitute in the 2-0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt.
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Cherundolo, 34, had not played a game this season, and for most of 2013, after several knee surgeries left the Bundesliga’s current longest-serving player sidelined.
At the weekend, however, the USA international clocked up his 301st Bundesliga game for Hannover after coach Mirko Slomka brought on the right-back a minute into injury time, much to the delight of the watching fans at the HDI Arena
“That was a cool feeling,” Cherundolo told kicker, with the right-back now hoping to play more minutes over the next weeks and months as he attempts to win a place in his country’s 2014 World Cup squad.
The 2-0 victory over Frankfurt moved Hannover up to ninth in the Bundesliga standings. It was Hannover’s first three points since beating Augsburg in September, which was followed by seven consecutive league games without a win -- and only two draws.
“That’s a good step for us in the standings,” Cherundolo said. “But it would be fatal to let up now. We have decided those games for us in the past, but directly fell asleep again.”