AMSTERDAM – Stoke City handyman Geoff Cameron filled in solidly at center back on Sunday, but his efforts went to waste as the Potters fell victim to a late Phillipe Coutinho strike to lose their opening match of the Premier League season 1-0 at home to Liverpool.
Standing in for injured Stoke captain Ryan Shawcross, the US international piled up four clearances, two tackles and two pass interceptions. A few of those Cameron plays were important area interventions, including derailing Reds power forward Christian Beneteke on his way to goal in the 77th minute.
Coutinho stole all three points for Liverpool in the 87th minute, shattering the deadlock with a long-range bomb that extended Stoke's opening day win drought to six.
Over in German DfB-Pokal action, Sandhausen ace Andrew Wooten buried the deciding penalty kick to give the visitors a shootout win after ending extra time scoreless against Bahlinger SC.
The right winger had a golden chance to end the suspense with three minutes remaining in the second overtime session, but missed the target from 16 yards. Wooten made no mistake, though, when charged with taking the anchor penalty to close out a 5-3 shootout victory.
Elsewhere, SC Freiburg defensive midfielder Caleb Stanko made both his long-awaited return from injury and his first-team debut, coming off the bench for the final 11 minutes in Freiburg’s 5-0 cup win at HSV Barmbek-Uhlenhorst.
Things didn’t go so well for Alfredo Morales and Ingolstadt, who were bounced from the DfP-Pokal after a stunning 2-1 defeat at fourth flight Unterhaching. Morales, who entered with the Bundesliga newcomers down two near the hour mark, was left looking for an officer after being robbed on a doorstep header by Haching netminder Stefan Marinovic in the 77th minute. Ingolstadt would eventually pull one back and the US midfielder helped keep the pressure on, but the visitors were unable to conjure an equalizer.