Two Americans watched mostly from the bench as their teams celebrated important victories in the battle against relegation. Edson Buddle did get on the pitch with 18 minutes to for Ingolstadt, while countryman Luis Robles sat out for Karslruhe.
Ingolstadt continued their impressive run against FSV Frankfurt and won Friday’s game 2-1. Ingolstadt have now a very good chance to stay in the league in their second 2. Bundesliga season ever after winning three consecutive games.
Buddle making an impact
Ingolstadt are led by their experienced captain Stefan Leitl. The 33 year -old midfielder has been involved in a staggering 21 of Ingolstadt’s 26 goals. Their victory on Friday saw Ingolstadt getting above the relegation places for the first time since fifth match day of this season’s 2. Bundesliga campaign.
Edson Buddle has played a role in Ingolstadt’s fantastic turn around. Having made 5 starts and 3 substitute appearnaces since coming to Ingolstadt during winter break, the American international has scored 2 goals and contributed the important assist in Ingolstadt’s 1-0 win over Arminia Bielefeld in early February. In Friday’s match Buddle got another 18 minutes on the pitch, but failed to score. Ingolstadt were at the time of Buddle’s substitution leading 2-1, and trying to defend their lead. Buddle has been slowed somewhat by an ankle injury suffered in his first few weeks in Germany.
Robles has to watch
American goalkeeper Luis Robles was sitting on the bench for Karlsruher SC and saw his team winning 3-1 against cup-finalist MSV Duisburg. The KSC has had a horrific start to their spring campaign, and has so far lost most of their important games. Two match days ago this caused the board to fire coach Uwe Rapolder, who was replaced by former KSC player Rainer Scharinger.
For Duisburg, German-American David Yelldell made a return from a hand injury, and played the entire 90 minutes for the Zebras.
Robles has so far this season played 18 matches for the club from Baden-Würtemberg, but has now been replaced by Kristian Nicht. Rot Weiss Oberhausen’s loss on Friday means that they will stay their at least until the end of this match day. Ingolstadt can drop down to the play-off place currently held by Osnabrück, who have one game at hand.
The battle is heating up
At this point of the sesason the teams currently occupying the places between 12th and 18th can not considered to be safe at this point. The last two will go down(17th and 18th place), while the team finishing 16th will have to play a play-off match at the end of the season.
Ingolstadt will take on promotion prospects Hertha Berlin and Energie Cottbus in the next two weeks, while Karlsruhe will play against TSV 1860 Munich and direct relegation rivals VfL Osnabrück. There is plenty of excitement ahead.
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