Given the main stage with no Bundesliga Matchday 2 spiels on the Friday schedule, the 2. Bundesliga continued its intriguing start to the 2013/14 campaign with thrilling performances across Germany as Karlsruhe-Greuther Fürth, Arminia Bielefeld-Paderborn and VfL Bochum-St. Pauli treated those who wisely tuned in to some delightful play.
11 goals in the three matches showcased the hidden technical quality of the second division clubs as the high temperatures didn’t prevent the three matches from being played at a high and exciting pace. With each game seeing a first half goal as well as a late resolution provided by goals from the 65th minute onward, there was plenty of drama to talk about as Fürth stayed 100% on the season, Bielefeld took revenge on their derby rivals and Bochum negated a brilliant offensive performance from St. Pauli’s Verhoek.
Fürth Dig Deep to Foil Karlsruhe Upset
For 75 minutes on Friday it was very much a coming out party for Karlsruhe SC as they continued their shockingly strong form with the league top Fürth coming to their ground in what would be Matchday 4’s topspiel. Undaunted by the perfect Fürth, Karlsruhe brought out some brilliant one touch football for the majority of the opening segments on Friday, combining their scrappy performances to start the season with some flair that was saved for the big stage.
Still it was a lucky bounce that sent Karlsruhe off to the races as a 45 yard cross from Vitzthum that went errant would find a way to beat an unsuspecting Wolfgang Hesl to give the hosts a shock lead after many projected a Fürth win despite Karlsruhe’s home pitch advantage and the absence of Djurdjic with an ACL tear.
Karlsruhe would continue their strong form in the second half as Fürth looked more lost without their top striker than they projected as they failed to string together much offense until Karlsruhe seemed to wear down in the heat past the 60th minute, culminating with a lazy goal off poor far post defending on a corner that put the game level. A bounce off a header near post fell to the foot of Kevin Kraus who made no mistake in fitting the ball through two Karlsruhe defenders and Dirk Orlishausen to give the Clovers new life.
Karlsruhe would wake up after the equalizer and create some chances from some more impressive passing play through the midfield, but their tremendous effort would be spoiled soon after as an individual run from substitute Dominick Drexler would end with another goal for the Clovers that would end up being the winner.
Seluck Alibaz would miss a strike just wide of the post in the 92nd minute before the final whistle blew a hard pill to swallow for Karlsruhe as they stepped up their game for the big moment and showed that they won’t be a team that will be wasting away in a relegation battle this year. Sadly the effort was not enough as some uncharacteristic key errors in the final 15 minutes in the back wasted what was a marvellous performance.
For the Clovers it would be another pleasing result for trainer Frank Kramer as his side has now prevailed in two 1st vs 2nd spiels in consecutive Matchday’s while also coming from behind in both matches. After running out to a quick start against lesser competition it is now very clear that Fürth are the title favorites, a promising sign after a trying Bundesliga season last year.
Bielefeld Grabs Late Equalizer in Paderborn Derby
A derby match between Arminia Bielefeld and SC Paderborn saw some wild moments as Bielefeld prevented their rivals from earning their first win of the season after Paderborn went ahead 2-0 to kick off what would be a goal filled conclusion to their Matchday 4 derby.
Saglik and Kachunga would put Paderborn up 2-0 as they would each score an early goal to start the half as Paderborn looked good to steal the win in their rivals backyard with a two goal lead 49 minutes in. Bielefeld would have other plans as Jerat would pull the hosts within one just four minutes later before Schutz scored on a free kick to tie things up.
In the 80th minute the drama would continue when Kachunga dragged down a Paderborn player in the box, a blunder for the left back that would lead to another lead for Paderborn as they converted the penalty kick. The late minutes however saw their hopes of a first win ruined as Bielefeld would grab a late winner in added time when Joker Schonfeld put home a rebound to end the game with a 3-3 goal in what was an exciting affair between two rivals.
John Verhoek’s Brace Not Enough to Earn St. Pauli a Win at Bochum
A classy first half scoring performance from John Verhoek was not enough to earn St. Pauli the three points away to VfL Bochum in Friday’s late spiel as Florian Jungwirth found a 69th minute equalizer to cap off a thrilling back and forth affair.
Both teams would treat the supporters at the Ruhrstadion to a fast paced first half with both teams piecing together beautiful strings of box to box play, winning possession and immediately breaking out on the counter attack every time during the opening 45 minutes. Initially Bochum were the beneficiaries of the quick pace, scoring the opening goal on a header from Heiko Butscher, but St. Pauli would eventually take over with some probing through balls through the midfield.
Those through balls would fall to the feet of Verhoek, who made no mistake in finishing his chances with two well placed strikes to give St. Pauli the first half lead including a lovely chip of the keeper that stunned Bochum and put the Hamburg club up heading into the second half.
In the second half the pace slowed, with St. Pauli racking up the yellow cards as harsh challenges and hard defending replaced counter attacking play from the opening 45 minutes. Still Bochum pressed on, eventually scoring on a corner kick that deflected to the foot of Jungwirth who scored with a nice volley to level the game with plenty of time for the hosts to grab a third and the win.
In the end the ex-Bochum man in Marc Rzatkowski would provide some unlikely defending heroics, clearing a ball off the line that would have completed Bochum’s comeback. Both sides would have to settle with what was a hard-fought draw between two teams that proved to be even competition that provided a very high effort that was equaled by every man who stepped onto the pitch.
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