After seven weeks of play, the 3. Liga table is starting to show the signs of who’s going to be up the top and who isn’t. This week, the 3. Liga review will encompass two matchdays, as there was a midweek fixture on Tuesday and Wednesday, know as the Englische Woche. We will go over the weekend matchday in depth and offer results of the midweek matches, as they were not broadcast. Also, check out who made the ‘Team of the Month’ and the fantastic free-kick that won the ‘Goal of the Month’ award.
Last weekend’s Topspiel was the match between league leaders Wehen Wiesbaden and third in the table RasenBall Leipzig, a match between two unbeaten teams whose winner would surely top the table at the end of the day. Once again, the average goals per game surpassed the 3.00 mark and teams are beginning to find form whilst others are losing the momentum gained in the first few games. Definitely an accumulator buster week in Germany’s third tier.
SPIEL DES TAGES
First against third matched up in what was clearly the week’s most interesting match. Wehen were without inspirational captain and best defender as he was suspended due to his sending off last week at Burghausen, definitely a cause for concert for the home side and a point of optimism for Leipzig.
It was a tense start to the match, with both teams highly respecting each other and not wanting to give anything away. Chances were few and far between and the pace was slow, almost like two predators eyeing each other up and waiting for the right moment to enter for the kill. It was the classic match that “needed a goal” to get going and that wish came true after 24 minutes. Wehen dangerman José-Pierre Vunguidica picked up the ball on the right flank and cleverly slipped in between two Leipzig defenders running into the area. Nils-Ole Book was waiting inside it and Vunguidica’s square ball found Book who slid in and tapped the ball into the net to make it 1-0 to the hosts.
Premonitions were indeed right and the game opened up thanks to the first goal. Two minutes later, Leipzig had their best chance of the match so far, with Bastian Schulz forcing Michael Gurski in the Wehen goal into a fantastic save. Tobias Jänicke followed up with his good form from last week, which earned him the Spieler des Tages award, and was a constant threat to the RB defence, lacking just the final touch to finish the play.
Wehen dealt a killer blow on 38 minutes that took the wind out of Leipzig’s sails; a free-kick delivered from the left by Book into the area and it was met by the towering head of Wehen’s Slovenian centre-back Jovan Vidović, whose header looped above Coltorti and dropped into the net to make it 2-0. Questions could be asked about Coltorti’s positioning off his line, as he neither claimed the cross nor made an attempt to do so.
Whatever Alexander Zorniger said to his players at half-time must have done the trick because Leipzig came out for the second 45 a completely different team. They were now pressuring high up the pitch and not allowing Wehen to get the ball out, but were still failing to properly trouble Gurski regularly. The pressure paid off on 58 minutes when Schulz, Leipzig’s best player so far that afternoon, picked up the ball 30 yards out, drove it and put it onto his left and unleashed a fierce shot that beat Gurski and put Leipzig back into the game. With Leipzig now playing the ball inside Wehen’s half, an equaliser seemed possible.
Wehen’s possession match in the first half turned into a counterattacking tactic in the second, with long balls being played for Vunguidica to chase. The Angolan striker almost scored against the run of play but tripped as he was about to shoot. The opposition’s star striker, Daniel Frahn, was lucky to still be on the pitch after a late challenge on Denis Perger, a challenge that deserved red but got only yellow. Minutes later, the referee ‘endeared’ himself further to the home crowd by sending off Michael Wiemann with his second yellow. With roughly ten minutes to go and with a man more, Leipzig pushed and enjoyed chances, but Gurski stood tall. Substitute Matthias Morys looked like he’d got the equaliser in injury time but the ball, which seemed to be destined for the back of the net, sailed wide.
All in all, Wehen maintain their dominance on their league and keep the two-point advantage over Holstein Kiel whilst Leipzig drop down to sixth.
Winless in the first four games, Hallescher now have two in a row as they beat Stuttgart’s amateur team on the only Friday night match. After a goalless first half, it was the home side who drew first blood seven minutes after the restart, with Marvin Wanitzek finishing from three yards out after a low cross from the left that beat the whole Halle defence. Minutes later, Marco Grüttner missed a one-on-one with Pierre Kleinheider and this seemed to spur Halle on as they were back on level terms just ten minutes later, as Akaki Gogia went on a solo run on the left side and shot from a tight angle inside the area. With barely twenty minutes to go in the match, Halle took the lead. Anton Müller thread Timo Furuholm inside the area and the Finnish striker coolly finished to make it 2-1 to the visitors. Stuttgart’s comeback wasn’t aided by Grüttner’s second yellow and so Halle held on to climb out 3 points clear of the relegation zone.
Two teams at the bottom end of the table but only one on a winning streak and looking likely to get out of it. The Bavarians solved this tricky game in just ten minutes but left it late to make sure of all three points. With ‘Haching enjoying most of the chances and exerting the most pressure, they took the lead five minutes before the break after a beautiful free-kick by Maximilian Welzmüller from just outside the area. They doubled their lead four minutes after the restart when a fantastic move with flowing passing ended up at the feet of Florian Bichler just inside the area, defining with ease past Timo Ochs. ‘Haching fervently searched for a third but, against the run of play, it was the team from the Saar who got a goal back. On 71 minutes and out of nothing, a long throw-in into the ‘Haching box was met by the head of Kevin Maek, who flicked the ball past Korbinian Müller and into the net. ‘Haching endured nervy minutes but put the match out of reach for the visitors with ten minutes to go when Andreas Voglsammer finished off a solo if unchallenged run to make it 3-1. ‘Haching climb the table to a comfortable 11th place whilst Saarbrücken are still in danger in 17th.
One of the in-form teams of the first few games, Osnabrück are now winless in three and losing touch with the top three. The visit of Stuttgarter Kickers, currently winless and second from bottom, should have been the turning point for the Lila-Weiß and their bad form but it wasn’t to be. It was all going to plan when the home side took the lead against the run of play on 15 minutes through a powerful header by Michael Hohnstedt after a cross from the right by David Pisot. Kickers looked lively but Osnabrück were in control going into the second half. The home side’s inability to increase their lead was made to pay just after the hour mark as Kickers dealt a killer one-two punch; on 65 minutes, Marcos Álvarez poked the ball into the net at the far post after a cross by substitute Kevin Dicklhuber and just four minutes later, Álvarez added his second with a fantastic shot from 25 yards out that thundered into the top corner of the Osnabrück goal. It was a fairtyale in the making but Osnabrück denied Kickers their first (and deserved) win of the season in stoppage time, in the 93rd minute, when a goalmouth scramble fell to Alexander Dercho on the edge of the area. Kickers ‘keeper David Wagner expected the cross to come in and moved to one side but Dercho actually put a shot in at the near post that fooled everyone and earned Osnabrück a lucky point.
Five and counting. Preußen Münster haven’t won since the first day of the season and are slowly slipping down to the wrong half of the table, as Elversberg earned a precious point and were unlucky to take all three. After half chances for either side, Münster’s Matthew Taylor was brought down in the area on 40 minutes by Timo Wenzel and the referee pointed to the spot. Amaury Bischoff, usually infallible from the penalty spot, saw his effort saved by Kenneth Kronholm as the host goalkeeper dived to his right to make an excellent save. Just three minutes later, Münster paid for their mistake as Elversberg took the lead thanks Angelo Vaccaro, who slotted into the empty net after fantastic work by Nico Zimmermann with the assist. Münster came out strong after the break and were back on level terms after just two minutes through Mehmet Kara, whose low and dry shot from inside the area beat Kronholm. Elversberg thought they had won it five minutes from the end as Felix Luz bounced in a header from a Milan Salem cross that looped over Daniel Masuch into the net. However, three minutes later, super-sub Rogier Krohne tapped from point-blank range to share the points.Münster’s slide continues.
This season’s surprise package, Holstein Kiel, carried on their winning streak after defeating an improved Wacker Burghausen. All three goals came in the first 30 minutes of play but the Hanseatic side scored enough to remain in second place. They were ahead after just 13 minutes as Marc Heider finished off an excellent combination between Marlon Krause and Rafael Kazior from inside the box. Casper Johansen signed off the second goal by drilling in low a dead ball at the height of the penalty spot. Six minutes later, Burghausen pulled one back; after latching onto a long ball into the area, Ahmet Kulabas took the ball on the volley and triggered an unstoppable shot into the net. Kiel had chances to score their third throughout the rest of the game but couldn’t find their killer instinct; at the back, they looked nervy and Burghausen had the equaliser within touching distance but couldn’t quite put the ball into the net. The away side will be disappointed as their improvement in performances in recent games still hasn’t been rewarded with points.
Here are two teams going in very different directions; after a promising start, Erfurt’s form has declined and haven’t won in their last four matches whilst Duisburg recovered from an iffy start and have enjoyed three wins in their last five games and two draws in the middle of those. The match had a name written over it from early on: Kevin Wolze. He opened to scoring on 15 minutes as he received a lovely pass from Pierre De Wit inside the area, beat his marker and coolly slotted it in to put the visitors ahead. Kingsley Onuegbu could have doubled the lead minutes later but his header unmarked inside the area hit the bar. Just after the half-hour mark, Markus Bollmann got sent off for a clumsy professional foul on Aykut Öztürk who was running alone into the area and left his side a man down. Erfurt couldn’t capitalise on their advantage and Duisburg made them pay; after some poor defending by Rafael Czichos, Onuegbu picked up the ball and played a clever back-heel to the oncoming Wolze, who took a touch and placed a beautiful ball that flew into the top corner of the far post to make it 2-0 to Duisburg. Despite their man disadvantage, Duisburg dominated and could have increased their lead, but had to wait until 15 minutes from the end as Onuegbu finally got his goal, this team finished from point-blank range after a cross by sub Patrick Zoundi. Erfurt pulled one back on 88 minutes through top-scorer Simon Brandstetter but it was too little, too late. An impressive performance by Duisburg whose score could have been much higher.
Chemnitzer earned their second win of the season with a well-earned victory against Borussia Dortmund’s U23 side. Both sides had chances in the first half but rarely were the goalkeepers called into play. The match oozed a feeling that the first team to score would be the one taking home all three points as that was exactly the case. The close to 5500 fans that attended at the Stadion an der Gellertstraße had to wait until the 72nd minute for the first goal and the home fans were those cheering; minutes after Benjamin Förster had hit the post with a header, Sascha Pfeffer went one better and slotted in a cross from the left by Ronny Garbuschweski to make it 1-0. Chemnitzer made sure of the points just ten minutes later, with Förster this time not making a mistake and finishing from inside the box to put the game beyond reach for the young Dortmunders.
A few weeks ago, Jahn Regensburg couldn’t stop losing; now they got their second win in as many games with a convincing win over SV Darmstadt and an even more convincing performance by top scorer Aias Aosman. Darmstadt had the best chances early on and seemed in control, with Marcel Heller even hitting the post and with the team pushing Regensburg all the way back. Against the run of play, Aias Aosman broke through with a clever autopass and found himself with only Jan Zimmermann to beat, but rounded him well and finished calmly to put his side ahead ten minutes before the break. Darmstadt continued to press and Regensburg were happy to play on the counter but it backfired again for the visitors on 77 minutes. Good work by Abdenour Amachaibou inside the box saw him play a short ball to Aosman, who fired in a great shot on the half-turn to make it 2-0 to Regensburg and to cap off an outstanding performance that sees his team move closer to the top.
Both teams went into the match equal on points and on the back of the loss, yet still in the top 6 places. Little football was played in the first half, with the match resembling more a game of head tennis than football. What should have been a fantastic and even match was even… but not fantastic. Heidenheim had the better chances through the usual suspect Florian Niederlechner but he wasn’t able to put the ball in the net, his dry spell now stretching to three matches. The second half was still dominated by Heidenheim as Rostock were toothless and seemed happy to sit back and wait for their chance on the counter. Niederlechner did contribute by being awarded a penalty on 68 minutes as he was brought down from behind by Sebastian Pelzer, much to the Rostock players’ discontent who felt it was a soft foul, although replays showed it was the right decision. Captain Marc Schnatterer duly stood up and smashed the ball into the top corner to put his side ahead. Minutes later, Steven Ruprecht hit the crossbar from a header that could have put Hansa level but it was another clumsy challenge that put the game beyond Rostock’s reach; a clumsy tackle by goalkeeper Johannes Brinkies brought down substitute Michael Thurk for a second penalty. Schnatterer again stood up and this time placed it low for his and his side’s second on 84 minutes. Heidenheim now sit third as Rostock drop down to seventh.
SPIELER DES TAGES
Kevin Wolze (1990) earns the award this week after his two excellent goals and his fantastic performance against Rot-Weiß Erfurt. The second goal was something quite special and no doubt one of the goals of the month. After being sent off on the opening day against Heidenheim in his team’s 1-0 defeat, Wolze has come back into the side and been an integral part of Duisburg’s turn in form, being a constant threat from attacking midfield and arriving into the box from the second line to complement Kingsley Onuegbu.
Wolze started his career for his hometown team, VfL Wolfsburg, and spent a couple of years at Bolton Wanderers in England (2006-2008) before he came back home to play for Wolfsburg’s II team in the Regionalliga Nord, without making a single appearance for the first team. In 2011 he moved to MSV Duisburg and enjoyed first-team football in the 2. Bundesliga. Now in his third year playing in the blue and white hoops, he will be a major actor if Duisburg are to endure a swift return to the second tier.
RESULTS 7. SPIELTAG
TABELLE 7. SPIELTAG
ELF DES MONATS
DF– Alexander Dercho (VfL Osnabrück)
DF – Sebastian Neumann (VfL Osnabrück)
DF – Marcel Gebers (Holstein Kiel)
DF – Patrick Herrmann (Holstein Kiel)
MF – Alf Mintzel (Wehen Wiesbaden)
MF – March Schnatterer (1. FC Heidenheim)
MF – Tim Siedschlag (Holstein Kiel)
FW – José-Pierre Vunguidica (Wehen Wiesbaden)
FW – Dominik Stroh-Engel (SV Darmstadt 98)
FW – Kingsley Onuegbu (MSV Duisburg)
TOR DES MONATS
Ronny Garbuschewski (SSV Jahn Regensburg vs Chemnitzer FC, 17/08/2013) (skip to 8:14 in the video below to see the goal).