It was a rocking start to the 2. Bundesliga’s second matchday as eight goals were scored between the three spiels scheduled as the second division continues to take the center stage in Germany before Saturday’s Supercup between Bayern and Dortmund. On a scorching hot day – when water breaks were handed out midway through each half – fatigue set in to produce six of those eight markers on Friday in the second half in a day filled with offensive fireworks.
It was business as usual for Kasierslautern and Fürth, who continued their impressive 2013/14 starts with wins, while Arminia Bielefeld would get their first points in the 2. BL with a late equalizer at home against Union Berlin.
Fürth Continues to Impress After Relegation
After a 2-0 win over Bielefeld gave them their first home result in over a year, Greuther Fürth continued their return to the 2. Bundesliga with another show of dominance in picking on the little guy, this time in an away spiel against VfR Aalen, who settled for a draw in their first match of the season.
As in their win over Bielefeld, an early goal would lift Fürth to victory as Goran Sukalo’s goal would put the Green Clovers up before a lack of defensive discipline would fail them for the rest of the match as Aalen put 16 attempts toward the Fürth goal, but were unable to find the finish to equalize in what was a well put together performance in defeat from manager Stefan Ruthenbeck.
Fürth, despite some poor defending, would manage to seal the match in the 81st minute as a Ilir Azemi goal would put the visitors up for good as they survived their trip to Aalen with a second 2-0 win to start the season, something that manager Frank Kramer will gladly take given how poorly Fürth ended up performing in the Bundesliga last season.
Still it remains to be said that Fürth has feasted on poor opponents this season, going from struggling against teams like Bayern and Dortmund last season to easily winning against lower table 2. BL clubs like Aalen and Bielefeld this year. They will host Kaiserslautern on Monday night next week, a match that will test both managers and will be an early measuring stick when it comes to the promotion race. Until then Fürth can sit happily knowing that they should be able to rack up the points against the bottom table clubs this season,
Arminia Bielefeld and Union Berlin Split Points
It was a “feel good” home debut for Arminia Bielefeld as the promoted underdogs earned their first points of the season in what as a strong showing against Union Berlin in the second early spiel on Friday. With both sides coming off losses in Matchday 1, managers Stefan Krämer and Uwe Neuhaus both knew that a result in Friday’s match was of high importance.
After struggling against VfL Bochum, Berlin would manager to have a much more impressive start to their second game of the season as they took the lead off of Adam Nemec’s goal in the 25th minute before playing well enough to go up at the halftime whistle with their clean sheet intact.
As in the Bochum match, the second half would prove to be more tricky for Berlin as after staying neck and neck in the first half Bielefeld would begin to start increasing their spells of being the more forward attacking team early in the second half down 1-0. Their persistence would pay off after a well-played throw in to the top of the box led to a cycle of beautiful one touch play to set up a well struck Fabian Klos attempt from just outside of 18 yards that skidded under an outstretched Daniel Haas to put Bielefeld level.
Bielefeld would continue to look for the winner, getting some quality chances after Klos’ equalizer, but could not find the back of the goal for a second time as both teams would have to settle for a split in points in a 1-1 result. For Bielefeld it was a promising result that gives them some momentum heading into a tough away spiel against St. Pauli next week. For Union, Friday will go down as the second straight game that Neuhaus’ XI looked slower and less skilled than their opponents, something that does not bode well for the club considering they have by no means played contenders in Bochum and Bielefeld. Neuhaus needs to find a way to help his players bounce back against Dresden next week.
Marco Kurz Nightmare Continues as Simon Zoller Continues His Goalscoring Form
While Kaiserslautern’s striker Simon Zoller has had a dream start to his 2013/14 2.BL campaign, Ingolstadt’s manager Marco Kurz has had a nightmare start, as the two key figures in Friday night’s main attraction went on different paths after 90 minutes in Kaiserslautern with Zoller’s two goals handing 1. FCK a coolly earned 3-1 win.
In front of a steady 26, 000 supporters in their home opener of the 2013/14 season, Zoller got the stadium rocking in the first half, receiving a nice through ball from Idrissou before slotting it through the legs of Özcan to make it 1-0 after Ingolstadt looked better despite a new disaster early when Özcan directly played a pass out from the back to Zoller.
Ingolstadt would continue to get beat on the counter attack throughout the match having their improved run of play from the loss to Aue being negated by some magnificent running out of midfield by Kaiserslautern as they piled up the chances on the counterattack and no one was more of a beneficiary than Zoller, who would reprise his first half performance with an even earlier goal in the second half to make it 2-0.
Kurz would insert Karl Heinz-Lappe into the game at the start of the second half and Lappe would give Ingolstadt their best chance of the match by earning a free kick just outside of the box after a brilliant run cutting to the box saw him taken down inches before it would have been a penalty. Caiuby wasted the free kick, failing to challenge Sippel in goal and continuing what has been a start to the season that has left much to be desired.
Ingolstadt continued to threaten by way of set pieces, with Sippel doing well to parry a Roger free kick that nearly curled in to chop the Kaiserslautern lead in half. Eventually Ingolstadt would get their goal as substitute Ümit Komraz scored in the 87th minute to make things interesting towards the finale at the Fritz-Walter-Stadion.
Ingolstadt’s late rally attempt would fall short for the second straight week as this time Idrissou put out FCI with the third goal of the match. Once again on the counter, Idrissou made no mistake in finishing up on a breakaway chance to push the lead to 3-1 and help Kaiserslautern keep pace with Fürth heading into what will be a highly anticipated Monday night spiel on Matchday 3.
Friday marked the second straight game where Ingolstadt’s defense left much to be desired. After keeping clean sheets in all of their preseason friendlies, Ingolstadt went from giving away poor turnovers against Aue at home to getting abused on Caiuby and Danny Da Costa’s flank on the counter far too often against Kaiserslautern. With Kurz’ last two stops as a manager in Germany ending in long losing streaks it won’t be much longer before many write off the manager who once led Kaiserslautern to promotion. With Ingolstadt never being too far away from relegation, Kurz first two performances as a manager have not looked promising. If he can’t turn it around soon his managerial career, and Ingolstadt’s status as a 2. BL club, will be put on the hot seat.
Kaiserslautern will be handed a stiff test as they visit Fürth, who despite showing some lapses in defense over two games, have generally dominated play with two 2-0 wins to their name. Kaiserslautern’s heartbreak in the playoff round last season against Hoffenheim will provide extra motivation to do whatever it can to earn the title or, at bare minimum, earn a top two finish this season. To help further that ambition an away result against Fürth would be huge on MatchDay 3.
Header courtesy of dpa
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