The first weekend of the 2012/2013 2. Bundesliga season saw three newly promoted squads do battle against established sides, with VfR Aalen making a great impression in their first ever second division match. Demoted sides Hertha Berlin and FC Köln found life in 2. Bundesliga not so easy as they try to make an immediate turnaround and head back to the top division next season while 1860 München and VfL Bochum started the season gaining three points in their openers.
MSV Duisburg 1-4 VfR Aalen
The script for newly promoted Baden-Württemberg side VfR Aalen could hardly have been improved, as Aalen wasted no time establishing their intentions in the 2. Bundesliga for the 2012/2013 season. Making their first appearance ever in Germany’s second division, Ralph Hasenhüttl’s club embarrassed MSV Duisburg in a comeback 4-1 victory in the Zebra’s home park.
Veteran Bosnian defender Branimir Bajic gave Duisburg an early lead when he left-footed a close-range shot into the Aalen net in the 14th minute. But the debutante club responded quickly, as Marcel Reichwein. leading scorer last season in 3. Liga while at RW Erfurt, countered with a header from a Robert Lechleiter cross six minutes later. Aalen midfielder Martin Dausch converted a penalty in the 33rd minute to create a 2-1 lead that was held until halftime. Immediately after restart, Reichwein played provider for young Kevin Kampl, who left-footed his first goal in 2. Bundelsiga from the center of the box. Aalen added its last goal near the hour mark when Robert Lechleiter scored following a break down the left. The Baden-Württemberg side then successfully held off hapless Duisburg to notch a 4-1 victory.
The black-clad Aalen side were a revelation, pacy and demonstrating great accuracy with long passes on the ground up the flanks, particularly the left side. Often Duisburg looked like an over 40 year-old men’s rec team, unable to keep up with the speed of the visitors. Adding insult to the injury of losing at home to a side that had never played as high as the second division was the fact that Aalan could have had more goals — one Lechleiter score was called back for offsides and Kanpl had a shot well-saved by Duisburg keeper Felix Wiedwald. Kampl, the 21 year-old Slovenian midfielder, had a strong match, not only scoring and creating seven offensive opportunities, but winning 68% of his tackles and 71% of his 25 challenges.
VfR Aalen, atop the league on goal differential, will look to prove that their strong performance was no fluke when they host 1. FC Kaiserslautern next Friday at Scholz-Arena, while Duisburg will try to get healthy next Sunday at Jahnstadion against another newly promoted club, SSV Jahn Regensburg.
Eintracht Braunschweig 1-0 FC Köln
FC Köln started their bounceback campaign in 2. Bundesliga the same way they ended their season last year in the top flight…with a distinct inability to score goals. Last season, the Billy Goats scored only three goals in their last five matches, losing four and drawing one, to doom themselves to relegation.
It looks like nothing much has changed, despite the hiring of long-time St. Pauli Coach Holger Stanislawski. Stani will need to be a magician to have a chance to lead the team back to the top-tier if Sunday’s opener was any indication of the club’s quality. Köln rarely looked a threat at Braunschweig, with the yellow-clad home team always appearing to be the brighter side.
Swiss youngster Orham Ademi scored the only goal needed in the 68th minute to boost Braunschweig to an opening day win, with Daniel Davari earning the clean sheet. With an attack that scares no one, even at the 2nd division level, here’s hopes that Köln management will invest some money in some attacking talent before the transfer window ends. On a positive note, Stani had to be reasonably pleased with the performance of 19 year-old German U-19 goalkeeper Timo Horn, making his senior squad debut.
Rest of the League
Newly promoted SV Sandhausen started their 2. Bundesliga game on a positive note, gaining a 1-1 draw at home against FSV Frankfurt, as Frankfurt’s John Verhoek scored in the 40th minute and Sandhausen’s Simon Tuting answered five minutes later.
On Saturday, 1860 München opened with a 1-0 home win over SV Jahn Regensburg, the third new club in the second division this season. Defender Gregorz Wojtkowiak headed home a Moritz Stoppelkamp corner in the 8th minute, and veteran 1860 goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly held off Regensburg for the victory. Also on Saturday, VfL Bochum came back from a 1-0 deficit to defeat Dynamo Dresden at home 2-1. Mickaël Poté knocked in Dresden’s goal in the 28th minute, but Bochum came back on second half tallies by 17 year-old Leon Goretzka, who headed in a set-piece from Alexander Iashvili in the 52nd minute and veteran Paul Freir, who entered his 250th league match as a substitute, scoring the game winner in the 85th minute.
Friday’s three matches all resulted in draws as Erzgebirge Aue and St. Pauli played to a scoreless result, while Hertha Berlin and SC Paderborn 07 split points in their 2-2 Olympicstadion final and Energie Cottbus came back from a 2-0 deficit to earn a road point against FC Ingolstadt. Ingolstadt built its lead on two first half goals by captain Stefan Leitl, but Cottbus newcomer Boubacar Sanogo scored twice to equalize. Sanogo, 29, has earned 18 caps representing Côte d’Ivoire, and joined Cottbus from St. Etienne.
Hertha Berlin, under new coach Jos Luhukay, were trailing 2-1 to Paderborn after Alban Meha converted a penalty kick in the 86th minute, but former Mainz man Sami Allagui scored the equalizer two minutes later. Ronny and Deniz Yilmaz were also goal-scorers in the match as 22 year-old Sascha Burchert manned the net for the Old Lady in place of the suspended Thomas Kraft.
Both Aue goalkeeper Martin Männel and St. Pauli keeper Philipp Tschauner earned clean sheets in Friday’s match. Männel made quality saves on chances by Marius Ebbers and Fabian Boll to get the result for Aue .
The first weekend of 2. Bundesliga action ends Monday evening when 1. FC Kaiserslautern host Union Berlin.
For a detailed account of the Bochum-Dynamo Dresden match, check out Defensive Midfielder.