October 24, 2017

2. Bundesliga – Matchday 9 Review: Fortuna’s record-breaking start keeps them top

It started with a band, and ended with a bang. 2. Bundesliga Matchday 9 did everything but disappoint – depending on who you support – but it was another great weekend for the neutrals. Sit back, relax and read the final round-up before yet another international break. As they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder..

1. FC Kaiserslautern 3-0 SpVgg Greuther Fürth

Manni Osei Kwadwo and Gervane Kastaneer were both looking lively in the early stages, but it was Fürth who had the golden chance after only a few minutes. Marius Müller misjudged a cross and the ball fell kindly to Philipp Hofmann, but the striker failed to find the back of an open net and headed over the crossbar. Philipp Mwene and Kastaneer had the opportunities at the other end, but similarly provided no real test for the goalkeeper. The rest of the half saw Kaiserslautern push for an opener, but fail to find a way past their stubborn visitors.

The pressure that was put on in the opening 45 finally paid dividends when Sebastian Andersson opened the scoring with 20 minutes to go. Balazs Megyeri flapped at Mwene’s cross, allowing Andersson to stoop at the back post and nod into an empty net. One became two, just three minutes later, when Andersson slapped home Osei Kwadwo’s lay-off after the winger had calmed down the pinball in the 18-yard box. Nine minutes after the Swede grabbed his first, he had his third. This time, it was a simple tap-in after good work from Gino Fechner and Brandon Borrello – who made a real impression off the bench. The win brought FCK above the Shamrocks, and into 17th, with just a point between the two.

FC Ingolstadt 04 3-0 SV Darmstadt 98

Even from the very beginning of this game, it always seemed set to go one way – that was in favour of the Schanzer. Christian Träsch, Sonny Kittel and Alfredo Morales could have given the hosts an early lead, but failed to find the necessary finish. Morales then had a header pulled off the line by Daniel Heuer Fernandes, before Kittel was fouled in the area by Wilson Kamavuaka. Stefan Kutschke stepped up and did the necessary, his penalty placed perfectly into the top corner. Morales’ half-volley flew over at the end of the half, in what was a very positive performance from the hosts.

After the interval, Kutschke failed to make the most of a great opportunity to make it 2-0. The same opening would not pass Kittel by, however. Some poor play in the wrong area of the pitch cost Darmstadt dearly, and Max Christiansen was on-hand to slide Kittel in on goal. He showed great composure before slotting home, killing the game off as a contest. Tobias Kempe had the only real effort of note for the Lilies, but Thomas Pledl added a third in real style by firing a dropping ball into the net from 18 yards. Ingolstadt jumped up to 12th with the win, as Torsten Frings’ men suffered a set-back in their promotion charge.

1. FC Nürnberg 1-2 Arminia Bielefeld

The opening exchanges in this one were very much limited, and the first real talking point came as Fabian Klos skied the ball over the bar in front of an open net. The closest Nürnberg came was when Ewerton’s long-ball over the top was caught on the volley by Mikael Ishak, though it flew narrowly wide of the far post. Cedric Teuchert looked lively after the restart, even if his decision-making was questionable, only for Bielefeld to take the lead. Andraz Sporar’s initial effort was well-saved by Thorsten Kirschbaum, only for the ball to fall back to the forward and he fired in at the second time of asking.

Stefan Ortega, the post and Kirschbaum were worked hard after that, with Ewerton and Kevin Möhwald both going extremely close. After all those chances, Ishak finally made one count. A smart header back into the middle from Hanno Behrens picked out the Swede in the middle, and he volleyed home. The drama at the death continued, and culminated with a late winner for Arminia. Konstantin Kerschbaumer got the better of Eduard Löwen in the middle, and ran through on goal to coolly slot past Kirschbaum and send the travelling fans wild. Jeff Saibene’s side leapfrogged their opponents, by a single point, and put themselves back in the promotion race.

Bielefeld hero Konstantin Kerschbaumer

Erzgebirge Aue 1-2 1. FC Union Berlin

Sadly, for both sets of fans, this game took a while to get going. There were two great opportunities for both, throughout the half, but neither would be taken. Simon Hedlund was guilty of not making the most of some lovely play by the visitors, failing to make Martin Männel really work. At the other end, Pascal Köpke blazed over the bar in what was a rather drab first 45 in Aue. The second, however, would bring more excitement. It was the Violets who started the strongest after the break, with the front-line and Christian Tiffert all having decent opportunities to grab the opening goal of the game.

In spite of that promise, it would be Union who took the lead. Sebastian Polter turned provider for Marcel Hartel, as the attacking midfielder was in the right place at the right time to nod past the helpless Männel. Köpke then wasted another good chance before Kristian Pedersen found Polter at the back post to give his side the all important second goal. That safety was short-lived, however, as Dimitrij Nazarov’s excellent cross was sent back across goal by Sören Bertram to mark the third headed goal of the game. The win took Union above Aue, with both sides narrowly outside the promotion spots.

Holstein Kiel 3-0 VfL Bochum

An even game up until the 22nd minute is an accurate summary of proceedings, with Steven Lewerenz and Robbie Kruse going close for their respective sides. That parity was broken halfway through the first period when, after a routine backpass from Danilo Soares, Manuel Riemann’s touch took the ball into his own net. This moment changed the entire course of the game, and the visitors looked a shell of their former selves. Marvin Ducksch missed two great chances to add to the scoreline, while Alexander Mühling and Kingsley Schindler also came close. They would find a second just before half-time, as Rafael Czichos forced home Dominic Peitz’s flick-on from a corner.

The second half followed a similar pattern, and Kiel remained in full control of the game. Mühling fired wide on the volley before a fine save from Riemann kept out Lewerenz’s snapshot at the near post. Ducksch, again, should have added to the scoreline with a fine solo run. Patrick Alt was then the centre of attention when he turned down Dominick Drexler’s penalty appeal, only for the midfielder to kill the game once and for all with 10 minutes to go. His close range finish was quickly followed by a second yellow card for Johannes Wurtz, in what was a total write-off for Bochum. Kiel’s incredible start, however, shows no signs of slowing.

Eintracht Braunschweig 0-2 FC St. Pauli

Braunschweig began the stronger of the two sides, and Suleiman Abdullahi was in the thick of things from the off. His early miss was, unfortunately, a sign of things to come. Moments later, Lasse Sobiech fouled Ken Reichel in the area and pointed to the spot. Onel Hernandez stepped up, but couldn’t find a way past Robin Himmelmann at the first or second attempt – a truly remarkable double save. Jan Hochscheidt, Quirin Moll and Steven Nkansah all went close in the remainder of the half, though Hochscheidt and Reichel both had to go off injured in a topsy-turvy 45 minutes.

That singled a change in the game, with Sami Allagui becoming increasingly involved for the visitors. Abdullahi continued to pass up chance after chance, as the home fans became increasingly worried. That was more than justified as St. Pauli cranked up the pressure, and then found a way through. Enver Cenk Sahin slipped Christopher Buchtmann in on goal, and the man who can do no wrong marked his return from injury with a fine finish. The roles were reversed four minutes later, in what was a carbon copy of the opening goal. Braunschweig were left to wonder where things went wrong, while FCSP continue to pick up unlikely points and make their way up the table.

1. FC Heidenheim 0-2 Dynamo Dresden

Two teams who both like to get on the ball made for a rather slow start in Heidenheim, with chances limited at both ends. It wasn’t until the 27th minute that there was a major spark, and that came from the boot of Niklas Kreuzer. He whipped the ball up and over the home wall, leaving Vitus Eicher grasping for the ball as it crashed in off the bar. Heidenheim tried their best to force their way into the game, but Nikola Dovedan was getting very little back from Robert Glatzel and the two struggled to make the most of any possession.

The second half got off to a stunner after just eight minutes, when Peniel Mlapa took aim from all of 30 yards and sent a stunning drive into the far corner. Eicher had little to do up until that point, but pick the ball out of the net from two fantastic strikes. Frank Schmidt’s men just could not find a passage through the visiting defence, and a few half chances from headers were all they had to live off. The win took Dynamo into 10th, while Heidenheim are looking nervously over their shoulders at the relegation zone.

SV Sandhausen 2-0 Jahn Regensburg

Even early on, it was clear to see that Lucas Höler was in the mood for this game. He had an early shot saved, before Tim Knipping rose highest to head a corner onto the bar. Höler then thought he’d opened the scoring after meeting Denis Linsmayer’s clever through-ball, though a very tight offside call denied him a deserved goal. Replays showed that the striker was in-line, but a tough call. Marco Grüttner had the visitors’ best chance of the half, with the final kick of the period, only to blaze a tough volley over the crossbar.

Both lead strikers traded blows early in the second 45, but it would be Höler who would take his chance first. A free-kick from the left was flicked on by a Jahn head, and the tricky forward was lurking at the back post and smashed home at the first time of asking. Jann George and Grüttner all had great chances to kill the game, but there would only be the one striker who took the plaudits. Höler latched onto a Linsmayer pass, rounded Philipp Pentke and slotted into an empty goal. Sandhausen sit third, having never been higher than 10th after nine matchdays before. Jahn are just above the dropzone.

Lucas Höler

Fortuna Düsseldorf 3-1 MSV Duisburg

Daft? Barmy? Almost unbelievable? Whatever you want to say, this game was anything but boring. The scoring began in the second minute, as Benito Raman’s near-post cross was headed in by the oncoming Rouwen Hennings. Just four minutes later, Raman teed up Jean Zimmer to volley at goal – only to strike Oliver Fink and send the helpless Mark Flekken in the opposite direction. Stanislav Iljutchenko and Dustin Bomheuer did their best to grab a quick response, the latter forcing a fine save from Raphael Wolf, only for the goalkeeper to then bring down Kingsley Onuegbu in the area. Moritz Stoppelkamp stepped up to the spot but seen his spot-kick palmed away by Wolf.

The list of openings in the remainder of the half is as long as your arm, with Florian Neuhaus and Stoppelkamp again coming close. This time, Wolf managed to push his shot onto the crossbar. Enis Hajiri was brought on for Tugul Erat at the break, and ended up hitting the post twice and then Iljutchenko managed to do the same. All within the space of five seconds. In this case, seeing was believing. Duisburg’s day then went from bad to worse, as Raman capped off a fine individual performance with an equally impressive goal of his own.

But Duisburg were not done, and a clever one-two with Onuegbu saw Stoppelkamp get himself on the scoresheet. Wolf then had to go off injured to give Tim Wiesner his debut, and a lack of clear-cut chances and wasteful finishes left him with little to do. The Zebras threw everything at Fortuna in search of an equaliser, but it never materialised. Fortuna remain top heading into the international break, with Duisburg level on points and goal-difference with Heidenheim in 16th.

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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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