High-scoring games, debut victories, upsets and some fantastic goals all make up Matchday 10 of the 3. Liga. Heidenheim looking to increase their lead at the top of the table as they entertain crisis club Preußen Münster while Wehen Wiesbaden, Rot-Weiß Erfurt and RB Leipzig all try and keep up. At the bottom, Wacked Burghausen are still looking for their first win of the year travelling to in-form Unterhaching and Holstein Kiel try and regain their form back with the visit of MSV Duisburg.
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Two promotion candidates suffering inconsistent form went head to head in the Friday evening match at the osnatel-Arena. Despite being in 4th place before the match, Leipzig hadn’t won away from home since mid-August, with a narrow victory at that against bottom-of-the-table Wacker Burghausen. Osnabrück recorded their first victory in five matches the previous week and a win would leave either of them in the top 3 places.
With Leipzig winning the toss and choosing to kick off, there was expectation as to how they would do it due to last week’s surprising goal after 8 seconds against Stuttgart II. Again, the formation was the same but instead of playing it back and punting it up field, Alexander Zorniger’s men decided to combine straight from the off but the Osnabrück defence were prepared and neutralised the danger.
Both chances had early chances to open the scoring, with Osnabrück’s Dániel Nagy forcing Fabio Coltorti into a great save from a free-kick on just seven minutes and Matthias Morys shooting wide with just the goalkeeper to beat seconds later. It was the visitors, however, who took the lead on 13 minutes. Sebastian Heidinger’s free-kick was a poor one and it went straight into the wall, but Heidinger himself headed the high rebound to Henrik Ernst whose clever lob over the defence fell straight into the path of Heidinger’s run inside the area and the defender himself finished from an angle to make it 1-0.
The lead did not last long as Osnabrück were back on level turns just seven minutes later with the freakest goal we’ll see all season. Andreas Spann received the ball inside the area and Michael Hohnstedt’s attempt to clear it softly rebounded off Anthony Jung who saw powerlessly how the ball bounced past Coltorti and into the net. It was almost a play in slow motion and tremendous bad luck involved but Osnabrück did not care one bit.
With the game wide open, both teams searched for the goal to take the lead. Adriano Grimaldi wasted a glorious chance one-on-one with Coltorti but the Swiss keeper made the save from the weak finish… when perhaps a square ball to Andreas Spann would have been the right thing to do. Leipzig made Osnabrück pay for their costly mistake and retook the lead on 32 minutes with a beautifully combined goal. Yussuf Poulsen, Timo Röttger and Anthony Jung played one-touch passes just outside the area that eventually found the Dane inside it, who chipped it past Fernandes to round up one of the goals of the week.
Osnabrück needed an early goal after the break to counter Leipzig’s momentum and that’s exactly what they got just eight minutes after the restart. Adriano Grimaldi contested a high ball inside the area with Heidinger and seemed to push him off it, controlling it inside the area, rounding Coltorti and the defence horizontally to finish it into the top of the net, much to Zorniger’s displeasure.
With just under ten minutes to go, another defensive disaster condemned Leipzig. Fernandes’ long goal kick bounced inside the Leipzig half at speed racing into the area. Niklas Hoheneder’s backpass header bounced straight into the path of the onrushing Roman Prokoph, who stumbled with the ball past Coltorti who rushed out of his area and finished into an empty net.
All in all, three defensive mistakes and some bad refereeing decisions cost Leipzig a game that they should have at least earned a point from. Osnabrück’s resilience though deserved something from the game too although perhaps all three points was too much of a reward.
With five victories and two defeats in the last seven games Stuttgart Rot-Weiß Erfurt who themselves were on the back of three consecutive victories. The hosts enjoyed a fantastic start as they took the lead after just six minutes, when Alexander Riemann’s shot from just outside the area was diverted into the net by Marco Grüttner for his fifth goal of the season. Erfurt enjoyed plenty of chances either side of the break to get their equaliser but did not trouble Odisseas Vlachodimos. Stuttgart were playing with fire by welcoming pressure for almost the whole of the second half but reacted late on and put the game beyond doubt with ten minutes to go thanks to a powerful finish by Manuel Janzer from inside the area. Erfurt got their consolation goal three minutes into stoppage time as Jonas Nietfield pounced on a rebound inside the area but it was too little too late.
Elversberg produced one of the surprises of the season so far by thumping promotion candidates Wehen Wiesbaden 3-0. The hosts enjoyed the better chances early on by Michael Gurski was equal to all efforts. Elversberg took the lead when Jovan Vidović and Denis Perger jumped into each other trying to clear a cross into the box by Chris Wolf, leaving the ball dead for Felix Luz to rifle it in. Gurski made a great save from short range but could do nothing about the rebound, which fell to Salif Cissé who just had to tap it into an empty net to make it 1-0. Wehen’s woes doubled just seconds later when a counter by Elversberg was finished with a crossed-angle shot by Milad Salem from just inside the area. Constant passing mistakes meant Wehen could not build a decent attack and Gurski was preventing Elversberg’s third with great saves. Once again, though, he was let down by his defense as he saved Felix Luz’s header but there was nobody to prevent Luz himself to head in the rebound to make it 3-0 and cap off Wehen’s second defeat in four games.
Holstein Kiel’s poor run of form continued as they succumbed to a single-goal defeat at the hands of a Duisburg side coming off the back of three consecutive defeats. Kiel started the game brightly with a couple of chances but the match was conditioned after just eleven minutes when Marcel Gebers was sent off for a professional foul on Kingsley Onuegbu just outside the area. From the resulting free-kick, Pierre De Wit curled the ball exquisitely over the wall to put the Zebras ahead. Kiel exerted pressure for the remainder of the half and most of the second but Michael Ratajczak prevented them from equalising with an excellent overall performance. Duisburg’s counterattacking tactic was efficient but they were not able to capitalise on their clear chances. However, they held on for the victory that leaves them just three points from 3rd position.
Not many would have expected Darmstadt to improve on last week’s 4-0 thumping of Duisburg but they did just that. The victims this time around were out-of-form Hansa Rostock, whose early season form seems to have faded into oblivion. It was an excellent prelude to their DFB Pokal midweek match against Schalke 04 as they put in a more than convincing victory goal-fest. It might have been a completely different score if Mustafa Kučuković hadn’t have been sent off with a straight red for the visitors on 14 minutes for a late two-footed tackle on Aytaç Sulu. Ten minutes later, Darmstadt’s pressure paid off as Jerome Gondorf put in an unstoppable low shot from just outside the area that tucked in nicely at the far post to make it 1-0. Three minutes later, die Lilien doubled their lead as Michael Stegmayer’s delivery from the left was met with a glancing header by Hanno Behrens at the near post.Darmstadt had chances to increase their lead before the break but it was two minutes after the restart when the Dominik Stroh-Engel show began. His incursion into the box ended up with a clever touch to beat the defender and a cool finish with the outside of his right foot for his team’s third. Shortly after it was four; Noël Mendy clumsily brought down Gondorf inside the area and Stroh-Engel duly dispatched from eleven meters. He completed his ten-minute hattrick again from the spot, after Sebastian Pelzer shoulder barged Marcel Heller in a carbon-copy situation from three minutes earlier. A ‘whole’ fifteen minutes passed before Stroh-Engel’s fourth and his team’s sixth, this time rounding Johannes Brinkies and finishing from a tight angle inside the box. All in all, a fantastic match for Darmstadt and Stroh-Engel that sees SV98 move to 7th in the league and a lacklustre Rostock with plenty of work to do drop to 12th.
Kickers’ mini-revival with last week’s 3-0 victory over Jahn Regensburg was short lived as Chemnitz brought them back down to earth with a contested 1-0 defeat. Jürgen Hartmann could not work his magic again with the team and Chemnitz dominated most of the match, with Kickers having their goalkeeper Markus Krauss to thank for keeping the scores level for as long as they were. At the other end, Philipp Pentke’s horrific pass at the start of the second half gifted Elia Soriano a glorious chance to score but the Italian could not finish as Pentke redeemed himself with a fine save, standing his ground well and making the striker move first. Kickers were reduced to ten men with half an hour to go as Marc Stein received his second yellow and finally conceded with five minutes to go, when Ronny Garbuschewski did what he does best and smashed in a free-kick from 20 yards. He nearly grabbed another one before the end but his curled left shot from inside the area hit the bar. However, CFC held on for all three points and Hartmann’s real work starts now.
Tied for the highest-scoring match of the week, Halle got back to winning ways with a hard-fought victory against Absteigers Jahn Regensburg. Regensburg took the lead as early as the fourth minute with Jonathan Kotzke’s low shot from just outside the area. Halle’s reaction took only ten minutes and got their equaliser through a fine free-kick by Sören Bertram. The visitors piled on the pressure and got their just reward five minutes before half-time. A quick counterattacking move saw Akaki Gogia pass it long to the left flank and Bertram square it for Timo Furuholm to put his side ahead with his fourth goal in six games with a sliding finish. Abdenour Amachaibou and Furuholm hit the post for their respective teams on either side of half-time but seven minutes after the restart Amachaibou made no mistake as Benedikt Schmid thread him through on goal and the striker of Moroccan descent finished low past Pierre Kleinheider. Jim-Patrick Müller had a goal ruled out for offside and the blow was doubly bitter with five minutes to go, when Toni Lindenhahn’s solo run from the halfway line found Furuholm inside the area, who squared it back to Lindenhahn to slot in his side’s third goal. Halle made sure of all three points on 89 minutes when Marcel Baude culminated a counterattacking move with all of Regensburg’s men still in attack.
Top-of-the-table Heidenheim found the going tough against a Preußen Münster team who appointed Ralf Loose as their new manager during the week. Winless since Matchday 1, Münster were looking for an unlikely win against the table toppers but predictions didn’t go exactly to plan… at least for how the match unfolded. Despite having enjoyed the better chances in the first half, Heidenheim could not open the scoring and did not trouble Daniel Masuch in the away goal. Münster’s presence in the hosts’ area was minimal and created no concern for Masuch’s counterpart Erol Sabanov. Münster had a dream start to the second half when Matthew Taylor headed in a cross from Dennis Grote from inside the six-yard box. Things quickly turned sour for the visitors as just five minutes later Kevin Schöneberg got a straight red after a chest-high tackle on substitute Smail Morabit. This was the turning point for the home side as Morabit himself equalised just ten minutes later after a cross from Philip Heise. Despite having an extra man, Heidenheim could not break down the Münster defence. It was heartbreak for Münster on 86 minutes as Heidenheim finally found the breakthrough; Alper Bagceci latched onto a cross by Marc Schnatterer that eluded and it beat Masuch into the net. Whilst still a loss, it was an improved performance under difficult circumstances for Münster who will be looking forward to Loose’s tenure.
It took ten whole matches but Wacker Burghausen finally got their first win of the season. The opposition was an unlikely one as Unterhaching received the league’s bottom side on the back of one draw and four victories. Wacker got to a fantastic start when, after just four minutes, a deflected shot by Youssef Mokhtari looped over Korbinian Müller and into the net. The visitors doubled their lead just after the half-hour mark through Mokhtari once again, although this time there was no luck involved. The Moroccan picked up the ball on the corner of the area and whipped in a powerful left-footed shot that sailed past Müller. Unterhaching were shellshocked and weren’t a patch on the team that they’ve been recently. The second start started a bit brighter for the Bavarians with a few chances that finally translated into a goal on 64 minutes, when Andreas Voglsammer unleashed a shot on the turn inside the area that left Stephan Loboué standing still and rolled into the net. Burghausen made sure of their first three points of the campaign five minutes from the end when a cross into the area from the left by Marco Holz was pulled back into the middle by Angelo Hauk and Stephan Tee poked it into the net. With the psychological barrier broken, Uwe Wolf will have to pull off a huge miracle if Burghausen are to save themselves but are only three points from safety now.
By no means a classic, Borussia Dortmund’s U23 side missed out on the chance to come out with all three points against a lacklustre Saarbrücken side who had coach Milan Šašić on the bench as his first game in charge. In a cagey first few minutes, the first shot of the match did not come until the quarter-hour mark through Oguzhan Kefkir. Dortmund were the better of the two sides and took the lead after the hour mark through Mark Hornschuh after a corner. Just before the break, a mistake by David Solga gifted Raffael Korte the chance to equalise and the Saarbrücken striker duly dispatched to make it 1-1. The second half was largely uneventful and had very few chances, most notably Serkan Göcer’s effort that came off the post with five minutes to go. All in all, a chance missed by die Schwarz-Gelb to win a match that seemed nobody wanted to win.
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Perhaps Dominik Stroh-Engel’s four goals might have earned him Player of the Week most weeks but the fact that two of those goals were penalties and his goals did not imply his side’s first win of the season swayed things differently. All those boxes were ticked by Wacker Burghausen’s Youssef Mokhtari (1979), who lead his side to a 3-1 victory, their first in the league, against a strong Unterhaching team. Mokhtari’s first goal may have had some luck but his second effort had no such thing. Being the inspiration behind such a feat for a team that many consider a relegation certainty earns Mokhtari this week’s award.
Mokhtari was born in Morocco but moved to Germany at a young age and has an extensive CV of German club behind him. Mokhtari started at FSV Frankfurt in 2000 but did not make a single appearance, which sparked his journeyman career, later moving to Jahn Regensburg (2001), Wacker Burghausen (2002), Energie Cottbus (2004), 1. FC Köln (2005), MSV Duisburg (2006), Al-Rayyan (2007), FSV Frankfurt (2008), Greuther Fürth (2009), FC Metz (2010) and back at Wacker Burghausen (2011), where he has amassed 59 appearances and 14 goals in two and a half seasons, the longest he has been at any club. His brother Oualid plays for FSV Frankfurt.
TABELLE 10. SPIELTAG