Ingolstadt extended their lead at the top to four points through a convincing victory over Bochum, while Eintracht Braunschweig made it five wins in a row as they moved into second place with a 1-0 win over Nürnburg. Kaiserslautern piled on the misery for bottom side St. Pauli, while fellow promotion chasers Darmstadt and Karlsruher cancelled each other out in a scoreless draw.
At the other end of the table, Aalen and Union Berlin both picked up vital wins in their respective fights against relegation, and FSV Frankfurt went to Munich and picked up all three points against an 1860 side that was missing their top-goal scorer, Rubin Okotie.
Let’s take a look at the team of the week for match day 15.
Andreas Luthe – Bochum’s captain makes it into this week’s XI, despite conceding three to Ingolstadt. Luthe made a number of excellent saves against the league leaders, and c0ach Peter Neurerer had plenty of praise for his 6’4″ backstop, saying his side could have lost by six or seven had it not been for Luthe.
Marvin Matip – This week saw Matip tasked with keeping quiet the league’s top goal scorer, Simon Terodde, who has scored ten already this season. The Ingolstadt center back delivered a fine performance, immaculately handling the Bochum striker, giving him nothing, and helping Ingolstadt kept their eighth clean sheet of the season.
Marcel Correia – Braunschweig’s great form has been built on solid defense, and Marcel Correia has been a big part of achieving it. The Portugese defender has formed an excellent partnership with Ken Reichel at the center of Braunschweig’s defence. Both put in another excellent performance as they kept their second consecutive clean sheet against Nürnburg. Correia just edges out his teammate to make the team of the week.
Leon Balogun – The former Fortuna defender struggled to find a club over the summer after breaking his foot while on international duty for Nigeria. The right back has now fully recovered, however, and Darmstadt are reaping the rewards of taking a risk on him. In his two months at the club, Balogun has made the right back spot his own and has put in a number of strong performances. His good form continued against Karlsruher SC on Friday night, as Darmstadt kept another clean sheet (their fourth in their last five games).
Pascal Groß – Groß’ excellent season continued against Bochum on Saturday. The Ingolstadt man has been one the players of the season and is a regular in the team of the week. The central midfielder grabbed yet another assist in Saturday’s win over Bochum. Groß’ creativity has been a big part of Ingolstadt’s armory and he grabbed his ninth assist of the season when his fine pass picked out the run of Matthew Leckie.
Damir Kreilach – The Croatian midfielder has had a difficult season, having found himself dropped from the side in recent weeks after previously been an ever-present for Union Berlin. Kreilach again found himself on the bench for Union’s relegation six-pointer with local rivals Erzgebirge Aue, but despite being on the pitch for a mere 24 minutes, he had a massive impact on the game. Coming onto the pitch with his side down 1-0 and his manager just minutes from the sack, Kreilach scored two goals in nine minutes to turn the game on its head and grab a vital three points for Norbert Duwel’s side.
Jean Zimmer – Normally a right back, Zimmer was entrusted with a more advanced role as Kaiserslautern went to Pauli on Sunday. There was surprise as Zimmer was picked ahead of the reliable Karim Matmour, but Zimmer justified the faith his manager placed in him. Zimmer grabbed an assist after 22 minutes when he found Amin Younes, who gave Kaiserslautern the lead. Zimmer then grabbed a goal of his own (his first with the senior side) as he latched onto a misplaced pass and deposited it beyond Philipp Tschauner.
Mirko Boland – The diminutive midfielder put in an excellent performance as Braunschweig moved up to second with a win over fellow relegated side, Nürnburg. Boland had his best match since the season opener, delivering a fantastic box-to-box performance. Boland’s passing was immaculate, and he was also very strong in defense, as he proved when making a vital last-ditch tackle to deny Jakub Sylvestr a big scoring opportunity.
Matthew Leckie – Leckie has had a fine season for the league leaders, and his good form continued against Bochum on Saturday. Leckie’s pace and skill caused a number of problems for the opposition, and the Bochum defense simply couldn’t handle him. Leckie grabbed an early assist as he showed great control and vision to pick out Mortiz Hartmann with a clever back-heeled pass. Leckie then grabbed a goal of his own after his run was picked out by Pascal Groß.
Moritz Hartmann – Hartmann is the fourth Ingolstadt player to make this week’s XI. Like his attacking partner, Matthew Leckie, Hartmann caused a number of problems for the Bochum defence, and even though he managed to grab just the one goal, he could have had a hat-trick but for a fine performance from Bochum keeper Andreas Luthe.
Zlatko Dedic – The Slovenian striker has established himself as the number one striker at FSV Frankfurt, having displaced Edmond Kapllani. Dedic gave his finest performance of the season and scored a fantastic individual goal in his side’s 2-0 win at 1860 Munich. Dedic showed a great turn of pace and skill as he dribbled past both Christopher Schindler and Juan Vallori before cleverly finishing beyond Stephen Ortega.
Christopher Mathenia (Darmstadt), Daniel Bernhardt (Aalen), Daniel Gordon (Karlsruher), Ken Reichel (Braunschweig), Leart Paqarada (Sandhausen), Kerem Demirbay (Kaiserslautern), Andreas Hofmann (Aalen), Hejmeddin Daghfous (Aalen), Robert Bauer (Ingolstadt), Lukas Hinterseer (Ingolstadt), Collin Quaner (Aalen), and Havard Nielsen (Braunschweig).
Player of the Week
Goal of the Week
Zlatko Dedic’s fine individual strike (mentioned above) was the standout goal, this week.
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