Clint Mathis Leads Hannover 96 to Victory Escapes Fine for Outburst

(Germany) Associated Press - U.S. forward Clint Mathis entered as a substitute and scored late in the second half Saturday leading Hannover 96 to a 1-0 upset of Schalke for its first victory this season in the German league.

Mathis a spark for the Americans during the 2002 World Cup languished on the bench until the 81st minute. Ninety seconds later he stripped a Schalke player of the ball and beat two defenders off the dribble. He then passed and from the right side volleyed in a cross.

Afterward Mathis ran down the sideline and tapped his watch at coach Ewald Lienen as if to say he should have been in the game sooner.

"Naturally he wanted to play earlier Lienen said. "But this way he came in with the necessary anger in his belly."

Hannover 96 said Monday Mathis won't be fined for his outburst against coach Ewald Lienen that caused a flap in Germany.

Mathis later confirmed the gesture was meant the way it was widely interpreted - that Lienen should have played him earlier.

Hannover downplayed the incident widely seen in Germany as an insult to Lienen.

"No fine - the boy was just frustrated said club manager Ilja Kaenzig.

Mathis in his second season with the Bundesliga club has seen reduced playing time under Lienen. The goal was his first this season.

An outburst against a coach is unusual in German soccer which places a great deal of emphasis on discipline.

"A provocation like that is something a Bundesliga coach rarely has to put up with wrote the Bild Germany's largest circulation newspaper.

The American international forward has never been associated with any other disciplinary problems or similar incidents during his stint in Germany's top league.

In other games Diego Klimowicz's last-minute goal helped VfL Wolfsburg stay in first place in the Bundesliga with a 2-1 victory against Kaiserslautern; Stuttgart defeated Bayer Leverkusen 3-0; Bayern Munich topped SC Freiburg 3-1; and Bremen downed VfL Bochum 4-1.

VfL Wolfsburg has 15 points followed by VfB Stuttgart (14) Werder Bremen (12) and Bayern Munich (11).