December 12, 2017

2. Bundesliga – Matchday 8 Review: Fortuna stay top as FCN make their move

With the middle set of fixtures in the Englische Woche dealt with, 2. Bundesliga moved onto Matchday 8 – just a day after Matchday 7 finished. From Tuesday through to Monday, a full six days of second division goodness was on our TV/Laptop screens. That said, it was a very forgettable week for some teams..

MSV Duisburg 1-3 Holstein Kiel

The first true chance of the game for either side provided the first goal, as Dominick Drexler proved to be the key player from start to finish. His clever pass picked out Kingsley Schindler, who produced a fine finish past Mark Flekken with real style and poise. Borys Tashchy then had to go off injured for the hosts, to make matters worse. The remainder of the half was somewhat slow, although Marvin Ducksch struck the outside of the post after a fantastic, flowing move.

In comparison, the second half felt a lot like a repeat of Duisburg’s home drubbing last weekend. A combination of Kenneth Kronholm pulling off some superb saves, the frame of the goal denying Kevin Wolze, Stanislav Iljutchenko and Moritz Stoppelkamp. Kingsley Onuegbu also brought a good save from the ‘keeper, as Stoppelkamp fired an audacious 25-yard effort whistling over the bar. At the other end, Steven Lewerenz hit the post and Drexler shot wide in what was proving to be an end-to-end 45 minutes of football.

Finally, however, the second goal arrived. A superb ball through from Lewerenz picked out Drexler, who expertly beat the offside trap, before lifting the ball over Flekken and tapping into an empty net. Drexler was then given the chance to add a third from the spot after Schindler was fouled, and he did just that by sending Flekken the wrong way. There would be a late consolation for Duisburg, who finally forced the ball over the line through Lukas Fröde in the final action of the game.

Dominik Drexler, Holstein Kiel

Erzgebirge Aue 1-0 SV Sandhausen

Given how well both these sides started and the fact a win for either would have given real impetus to a possible promotion charge, it was a predictably cagey start in Aue. That said, there was nothing held back for the opening goal. Pascal Köpke’s 25-yard drive whistled through Marcel Schuhen’s attempted save at a firm 103kph. Sadly, the remainder of the half failed to take inspiration from that and a lack of chances summed up an even encounter.

Once again, the second half would prove to be a similar story. This time, Sandhausen had all of the possession and limited opportunities. Lucas Höler and Denis Linsmayer went close from range after the restart, but they would have to wait until the end of the game for their next opening. That came from Philipp Klingmann, but Martin Männel was up to the task to tip his effort over the crossbar. The win brought the Violets a point behind Sandhausen and, as previously stated, put them in the current promotion picture. Regardless, these sides will be over the moon to get early points on the board.

FC St. Pauli 1-2 Fortuna Düsseldorf

The Millerntor was packed to the rafters, and Takashi Usami almost took the roof off the away section when St. Pauli failed to clear a corner. The ball dropped to the Japanese international and he rifled the ball into the top corner with supreme accuracy. FCSP tried to fashion an immediate response, but instead found themselves further behind. There was a slice of fortune with a deflection from Christopher Avevor, but Jean Zimmer’s run and Rouwen Hennings’ composure to round Robin Himmelmann was deserving of a second.

St. Pauli would finally get on the scoresheet after half an hour, as Enver Cenk Sahin sent a powerful effort from 18 yards towards the top corner. A slight deflection helped, but Raphael Wolf would have done well to get there regardless. Wolf would be the man to repeatedly frustrate the hosts, making good saves from Sami Allagui and Johannes Flum. For all their pressure and wave after wave of attack, St. Pauli were unable to find an equaliser that their play had probably deserved. The result took Fortuna three points clear at the top, while Olaf Janßen’s men are still in the chasing pack.

Arminia Bielefeld 1-1 1. FC Heidenheim

Both sides had chances early on at the Bielefelder Alm, with Nikola Dovedan’s deflected effort bringing Stefan Ortega into the game for the first time before Keanu Staude volleyed narrowly wide of the far post. Much like some of the other games this weekend, a lack of precision cost both teams going forward when it mattered most and that was especially true in the final third. Marc Schnatterer came close at the end of the half, as did Dovedan, but Ortega was relatively comfortable.

After the break, Bielefeld looked more and more like they would find a breakthrough to reward an early surge. Aside from Ben Halloran’s shot going just past the upright, Andreas Voglsammer sparked into life and Konstantin Kerschbaumer was denied by a spectacular stop from Vitus Eicher. As it looked like Arminia would break the deadlock, it was instead Arne Feick who bulleted a header home from Schnatterer’s corner. Though, after they continued to trouble the visiting back-line, Julian Börner came up with a powerful header of his own via Tom Schütz’s delivery. A point apiece might not have reflected Arminia’s attacking threat, but they’ll have been happy to eventually break down a tough Heidenheim side.

Jahn Regensburg 2-1 Eintracht Braunschweig

This box was mad as a box of frogs. Three red cards, three goals and 10 total bookings. Jahn started the stronger in the game, Sargis Adamyan was particularly dangerous out on the left but they struggled to really test Jasmin Fejzic. After that initial surge, Braunschweig began to come forward themselves. Domi Kumbela was looking dangerous, and he was given the chance to stay on after Salim Khelifi was shown a red card for a high foot on Marc Lais. With Totte Nyman off, many would be forgiven for thinking they’d struggle to score. Step up Joe Baffo, who headed them into the lead before half-time.

That was short-lived, and just two minutes after the restart Marco Grüttner stepped up to the mark with a fantastic header from Sebastian Stolze’s cross. When things couldn’t get much worse, after Jahn hit the post and bar, they did. Maximilian Sauer was sent off just eight minutes after coming on after a coming together with Alexander Nandzik on the wing. Torsten Lieberknecht was apoplectic at this stage, and the hosts continued to pile on the pressure.

Finally, that paid dividends when Jann George’s knock-down was fired home by Jonas Nietfeld. When it looked like things had come to a head, Mirko Boland got a needless second yellow in the final minute to take Braunschweig down to eight men. It was a day to forget for the Lions, but a superb victory for Jahn who deserved all three points to continue their very impressive start to the season.

SpVgg Greuther Fürth 1-3 1. FC Nürnberg

Nürnberg smacked the bar with Eduard Löwen early on, yet didn’t have to wait much longer for an opening goal. Cedric Teuchert found the in-form Mikael Ishak, and he coolly slotted past Balazs Megyeri after a superb breakaway. Julian Green and Tolcay Cigerci came close afterwards, though a confident Fabian Bredlow was in fine form on the afternoon. FCN had their openings too, but neither side could find another goal before the break. That was remedied just before the hour mark as Behrens picked out Teuchert with a lovely pass, and he produced the finish to match.

But with 10 minutes to go, Jurgen Gjasula converted a penalty after Bredlow fouled Philipp Hofmann. However, the ‘keeper made up for that mistake with three fantastic saves from Hofmann and Serdar Dursun. After the onslaught, there was further joy for the travelling fans. Behrens picked up a pass from Ishak and found the bottom corner with a slight deflection to ensure the bragging rights would sit with his side after the 263rd Frankenderby. The Shamrocks remain in the relegation zone, though FCN are now sitting pretty in second.

SV Darmstadt 98 3-3 Dynamo Dresden

A strong opening first 20 minutes from both sides brought no early goals, but the scoring started soon after when Manuel Konrad turned his left foot brilliantly to fire home from Niklas Kreuzer’s cross. However, just seven minutes later, Tobias Kempe did what he does best – score free-kicks at the Bölle. His powerful drive beat Marvin Schwäbe when the ‘keeper would have expected to do better. The game was almost a carbon copy to that of their home game against Arminia, as Konrad popped up once more before the break to control brilliantly and smash home another volley past Daniel Heuer Fernandes.

When Konrad struck once again in the 80th minute with a stunning volleyed effort, and completed one of the most unlikely and impressive hat-tricks in recent memory, the game looked as good as won. However, it was a dramatic end that secured a draw for Darmstadt. Terrence Boyd nodded home from Kempe’s corner to give them hope, before Kempe sent a powerful 20-yard half-volley screaming past Schwäbe to the delight of the home support. It keeps Darmstadt right in the promotion picture, but Dynamo have now slipped down to 13th.

VfL Bochum 2-0 FC Ingolstadt 04

From the very start, it was clear Bochum were out to send a message to the visitors that they were only going to settle for the three points. Robbie Kruse and Dimitrios Diamantakos were active early on in the game, yet neither could find a way through when it mattered at that stage. The breakthrough came in the 24th minute, when Kevin Stöger’s superb low delivery was met by Felix Bastians’ sweet left-foot strike to give Bochum a deserved lead. Things got even better three minutes later, as Stöger’s sublime pass was latched on to and finished calmly by Kruse.

That seemed to give Ingolstadt some impetus and, not long after the second goal, a fine move saw Alfredo Morales’ effort come back out off the crossbar. The second half was more even and open, but the Schanzer were still there stronger side. They had a goal ruled out for taking a free-kick too quickly, and Sonny Kittel’s follow-up was dealt with well by Manuel Riemann. He produced the save of the game to deny Stefan Kutschke a goal and a way back into the game for the visitors. The win took Bochum back to within six points of second, with Ingolstadt a further three points back.

1. FC Union Berlin 5-0 1. FC Kaiserslautern

With a hashtag like #FCKFCU, there was always going to be something close to going wrong throughout this game. Sadly for Kaiserslautern, everything that did go wrong ended up in their net. It began in the sixth minute, when Sebastian Polter turned and found the top corner from 25 yards with ease. One became two when Fabian Schönheim’s cross was knocked into his own goal by Giuliano Modica. Polter then grabbed his third with a comfortable finish before Marius Müller stopped his penalty to deny him a hat-trick.

That said, he could do nothing when Marcel Correia tried to block Steven Skrzybski’s volley but only succeeded in deflecting it in off the underside of the crossbar. This was just 32 minutes in. As the game went on, Marcel Hartel and Simon Hedlund came close to adding to the scoreline but couldn’t hit the target. In the end, it was Hartel who knocked the ball down to Polter with his bum to fire past Müller once again to find the bottom corner and seal his hat-trick. The win took Union up to ninth and gave them a much-needed confidence boost, with Kaiserslautern bottom on just two points.

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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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