December 14, 2017

2. Bundesliga – Matchday 14 Review: FC Ingolstadt make move as bottom half tightens

There was drama from the seventh minute on Friday evening through to the 88th minute on Monday evening. There were twists, turns, debatable decisions and more on the 2. Bundesliga Matchday we’ve all been craving since the international break. It certainly did not disappoint.

Arminia Bielefeld 2-2 Eintracht Braunschweig

A strong start saw Arminia rewarded with an early opening goal, as Tom Schütz took aim from a free-kick and found the bottom corner through an obvious gap in the wall. Suleiman Abdullahi led the recovery charge, having a 20-yard drive saved by Stefan Ortega before the Bielefeld stopper charged off his line to close down the Nigerian’s close-range effort. The hosts were the better side in the opening period and almost had a second goal to show for it when Jasmin Fejzic failed to deal with a cross and Fabian Klos’ follow-up was brilliantly blocked by Steve Breitkreuz.

The second half began with a bang, and Abdullahi was denied for a third time by a spectacular stop from Ortega. The ‘keeper did fantastically well to keep out his close-range header. However, the resistance was broken when Robin Becker managed to nod down for Abdullahi and he duly smashed home. One turned to two moments later, as Ken Reichel fed Jan Hochscheidt to find the bottom corner, past the despairing Ortega. Both teams attacked into the final stages, though it was Leandro Putaro’s stab from six-yards out that sealed a point for Arminia in a game both could have won.

SV Darmstadt 98 1-2 SV Sandhausen

In what was an even game from the get-go, it was Sandhausen who took the lead after some good work from Lucas Höler. He had the presence of mind to hold the ball up, and produce a superb pass into Richie Sakuta-Pasu’s path. The forward took a touch with his hand, which wasn’t seen by the officials, before dancing past Aytac Sulu and slotting past Jöel Mall. Sulu had Darmstadt’s best chance of the half, as he rose highest but headed over the crossbar from 12 yards. Booth sides made changes before the break, as Torsten Frings changed tactics and Kenan Kocak hauled the injured Leart Paqarada off.

Chances were at a similar premium in the second period, and Darmstadt’s pressure did not unnerve Sandhausen in the slightest. They were playing for the counter and, when Maximilian Jansen fed Sakuta-Pasu, that’s how the game was killed off. The former Bochum man finished coolly once more, leaving the home fans more than frustrated. The Lilies pushed towards the end of the contest and Patrick Banggaard managed to poke home a Sulu header, though it was too little, too late. For Frings, that rotten run shows no sign of ending any time soon.

Sakuta-Pasu (L) brought it for Sandhausen Friday

1. FC Heidenheim 4-3 1. FC Union Berlin

From the very start, this match was clearly going to be anything but run of the mill. Kevin Müller was called into action early on to deny Sebastian Polter, and later on by Kristian Pedersen, as Union looked sharp when Heidenheim lapsed in concentration. Yet, those were the only two notable occasions when it occurred. Frank Schmidt’s side created a series of openings and saw Marc Schnatterer denied by Jakob Busk from a free-kick, though it was Schnatterer who helped force the opener. His delivery caught out Busk, and Arne Feick was ready to pounce with a fine header.

Both sides traded blows at the beginning of the second half, but a frantic 15 minutes from the hour mark saw no less than six goals scored. It all started when John Verhoek tapped in the rebound from his header that hit the post, and then Polter picked himself up to convert from the penalty spot to halve the deficit. Marc Schnatterer scored a ridiculous 40-yard free-kicked as Busk made a second error of the day, though Steven Skrzybski struck from an impossible angle to give Union hope. That was quickly scuppered when Verhoek scored again, only for Skrzybski to reply immediately. There was to be no dramatic eighth goal, as Heidenheim continue to go from strength to strength. Union remained in third.

1. FC Nürnberg 2-2 Holstein Kiel

The big clash on Saturday, in terms of the table, pitted FCN against the in-form Storks. It was a strong start from the two teams, yet little for either to show for it. Steven Lewerenz and Kingsley Schindler had the best openings for the visitors, and Mikael Ishak and Lucas Hufnagel kept the Kiel defence honest at the other end. The best chance of all was the final action of the first half fell to the hosts, and Eduard Löwen’s excellent work in the build-up was spurned by Behrens who headed wide. Despite all the effort, there was no goal to be found.

Nürnberg found a way through nine minutes after the restart, as Hanno Behrens embarked on a fine solo run before finishing with similar style. Things got even better not long after when Ishak, who teed up Behrens’ goal, and he was able to apply the necessary volley to tidy up Löwen’s cross. The goals continued in their eight-minute bursts, as Aaron Seydel’s first touch off the bench saw him head home Dominick Drexler’s cross. The comeback was complete with just two minutes to go, with Alexander Mühling firing home from 16 yards with a clinical half-volley to earn a share of the spoils.

Aaron Seydel (L) scored on his firt touch off the bench

VfL Bochum 1-1 SpVgg Greuther Fürth

For a side that was desperate to start well, after the ultras had split from the rest of the crowd, Bochum got off to the worse possible beginning. Maximilian Wittek returned from suspension to whip an excellent ball to the back post, and Marco Caligiuri tapped in from mere yards out. Yet, despite that disappointment, the hosts hit back almost straight away from a set-piece of their own. Vitaly Janelt’s delivery found Lukas Hinterseer, who flicked a header past Sascha Burchert. The rest of the first half failed to spark, though Felix Bastians and Tolcay Cigerci did go close from long range.

Unfortunately, it was a similar story in the second period. Tim Hoogland returned from injury, as did Robbie Kruse, and they combined for the the former to volley over for Bochum’s best move of the half. The Shamrocks were more active and looked more likely to find a winning goal, at least in terms of chances. David Raum worked some space before he fired narrowly wide, and Khaled Narey failed to find a way through Manuel Riemann. There was a hectic finish to the game, yet no winner could a be found in a result that does little for either side.

FC Ingolstadt 04 1-0 Fortuna Düsseldorf

After Orjan Nyland had spread himself to deny Havard Nielsen in the opening stages, it was Ingolstadt that came into their own in the game. Sonny Kittel began to pull the strings and was denied by Robin Bormuth’s block on the line, while Christian Träsch and the rest of the midfield were trying to make their presence felt going forward. Fortuna’s attack was somewhat dampened with the absence of Florian Neuhaus, and it was no surprise that Ingolstadt took the lead. Kittel was the creator, and he scampered down the wing before his cutback was slammed home by Alfredo Morales.

Fortuna were more alive after the break and finally started to come forward with some real energy. Jean Zimmer was their main threat, with the right-sided player coming close with a free-kick before being denied by Nyland. Despite the initial flurry of activity, the Norway stopper remained largely untroubled throughout the remainder of the game. Kittel and Thomas Pledl were a continuous threat on the break and were unfortunate to not find a way through for a second, but for some brave blocks. It capped off a third game without a win for Fortuna and a fourth win in succession for the Schanzer.

FC St. Pauli 2-2 Jahn Regensburg

The first major action ended up being the opening goal in Hamburg. Marvin Knoll’s corner was met by the unmarked Marco Gruttner from 12 yards, and the unmarked forward powered a header into the bottom corner. One became two not long after, when Jonas Nietfeld’s knockdown was swept past Robin Himmelmann from Sargis Adamyan’s right foot. Following that, there was a double substitution on the St. Pauli side that sparked a revival. Lasse Sobiech showed everyone how it was done by producing a superb finish from 16 yards.

Sami Allagui followed suit, with a well-taken header on the strike of half-time. Replays did show that he was clearly offside from Daniel Buballa’s cross, yet the goal would stand. St. Pauli dominated the second half, as Enver Cenk Sahin, Christopher Buchtmann and Aziz Bouhaddouz all failed to take advantage of excellent chances. The hosts would prove unable to find a way through Jahn, who actually had the chance to win the game when Benedikt Saller failed to make the most of the ball falling to him six yards out. It was a hard-fought draw in the end, though the visitors went away happy.

MSV Duisburg 3-0 Erzgebirge Aue

Given the early runnings in this game, it was only ever going to go one way. Martin Männel was under pressure from the very start, as the Zebras and Dustin Bomheuer passed up a good opening in the first knockings. The best opportunity fell to Stanislav Iljutchenko when he managed to control a deep long ball from Gerrit Nauber. Unfortunately for the forward, his control wasn’t matched by the finish as Männel jumped up to prevent a cheeky lobbed volley attempt. Aue did try to get things going in attack, yet any chances to do so were few and far between.

It wasn’t until the second half that Duisburg finally found a way past Männel, and it was Cauly Oliveira Souza who was on hand to provide the cutting edge. The Brazilian was ready to pounce when an attempt flick from Iljutchenko deflected into his path to slide the ball home from 16 yards. Cauly doubled his tally four points later, as he found the bottom corner after a mazy run. Mark Flekken was called into making two great saves in the latter stages, yet Borys Tashchy headed in a third five minutes from the end to move the Zebras into the top half at Aue’s expense.

Dynamo Dresden 1-2 1. FC Kaiserslautern

The hosts were the most promising side in the early stages and looked to make that count when they could. There was little in the way of clear-cut openings, yet Dynamo made the most of one when it did arrive. Some questionable Kaiserslautern defending saw Florian Ballas head back across goal for Lucas Röser to tap in. Moments later, Patrick Möschl was denied by a good save from Marius Müller. Brandon Borrello got in behind the Dynamo defence late on, but his cross wasn’t met by a fellow Kaiserslautern player.

There was no rush on either side after the break, though Kaiserslautern looked much more solid after a change in formation at the break. Dynamo were still dangerous and threatened through Rico Benatelli, while Sebastian Andersson and Borrello fired off warning shots for the visitors. Marco Hartmann was denied again by Müller, before a dramatic turnaround occurred. Stipe Vucur headed home a Daniel Halfar cross before Lukas Spalvis’ deflected shot crept home to earn a first away win this season. With that result, the bottom half of the league has become a little more interesting.

Lukas Spalvis had the game-winner for FCK
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Jonathan Walsh

Jonny is a 2. Bundesliga fanatic who does little else with his time other than follow, watch, write about, think about, and promote his favorite league. When he isn't in university or trying to defend the Bundesliga's 50+1 rule, you'll most likely find him watching whatever football he can find on TV. Follow him @jonathanwalsh_

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