Unpredictable. This is how the 3. Liga’s Matchday 13 would be defined with one word. Expected streaks were ended, unexpected streaks carried on and after a week’s break last week with the international matches, all 20 teams were back fresh to resume their particular fight this season.
SPIEL DES TAGES
It was sixth versus league leaders in the Topspiel of Matchday 13 of the 3. Liga. Only six points separated both sides and their form indicated that those six points might be less come 4pm. Erfurt’s solid home form contrasted with Heidenheim’s recent lack of wins and with both teams vying for promotion, this could do a lot for their fortunes come the end of the season.
Heidenheim started the match the brightest with a double chance coming from the boots of Smail Morabit, starting in place of dropped Florian Niederlechner, and Marc Schnatterer, who side-footed wide the rebound from the French striker’s effort after a point-blank save from Philipp Klewin in the Erfurt net. However, the visitors didn’t have to wait long to take the lead because, after just 11 minutes, Schnatterer received a pass over his had and took it sweetly on the volley from the right corner of the area, with the ball flying past Klewin’s near post and into the net. It was a fantastic goal for Schnatterer who Heidenheim rely on blindly in their attacking fortunes and when he has a good day, Heidenheim usually come out on top.
Erfurt mounted the pressure on the visitor’s goal and Marco Engelhardt felt hardly done by for not having a penalty given in his team’s favour with a cry for hand-ball, although replays show that Sebastian Griesbeck did not handle it. Nevertheless, Erfurt pressed on and got their just reward just five minutes before half-time. Kevin Möhwald’s shot from outside the area took a deflection off Mathias Wittek and Mijo Tunjić got a toe poke on it before Erol Sabanov dived onto it, leaving Aykut Öztürk with a simple finish from two yards out to make it 1-1.
The goal triggered a mini-revival from Heidenheim before the end of the half but Philipp Klewin was quick off his line to deny Griesbeck a one-on-one chance before the whistle. Klewin continued his alert form in the beginning of the second half, this time denying Morabit for a second time. Heidenheim seemed like a completely different team from the one they were against Burghausen and RB Leipzig in the past few matches, creating in midfield, moving the ball slickly and threatening the opposition goal often. Perhaps it was something Erfurt and their coach Walter Kogler didn’t expect as Erfurt were helpless at times, especially holding onto the ball, and spent most of the second half giving it away cheaply before they could even get into attacking positions.
Heidenheim made their superiority count ten minutes before the end. An excellent combination between Schnatterer and Morabit saw Tim Göhlert go through on goal one-on-one with Klewin and the young Erfurter was powerless this time as Göhlert placed it through his legs and the ball dramatically trickled to the net but reached its target before any man in a red shirt was able to get to it.
Erfurt pushed in the dying minutes but failed to trouble Sabanov and so Heidenheim took the valuable three points that should put an end to their poor run of results, as Erfurt are still looking for the consistency to make them real promotion candidates.
- Wehen Wiesbaden sacked their coach Peter Vollmann after just one victory in the last seven matches on the back of yet another defeat, this time at home against Unterhaching. Wehen have slumped from the top of the table to seventh in the league in recent weeks and although it’s still tight at the top, the club directors felt the team needed a change. A replacement is yet to be announced.
- SV Elversberg saw their run of 5 victories in 6 matches cut by Stuttgart II. The team from the Saar, a newcomer to the league and an early-season relegation contender, racked up 15 out of their 18 points in the last six matches but now have come crashing down to earth again after defeat to the Swabians.
- Ralf Loose seems to have found the winning formula at Preußen Münster, as the team earned their second consecutive 4-0 victory. Marcus Piossek was once again on the scoresheet twice and the team are a much improved version of the one under Pavel Dotchev and are now just five points from the promotion playoff spot, an unthinkable feat just two weeks ago, as they had won only one match out of the first ten.
- Stuttgarter Kickers are unbeatable at home at the moment. Their 2-0 home victory at home against Hansa Rostock is their third consecutive match keeping a clean sheet at home, having scored eight goals in the process. New coach Horst Steffen will try and impose this kind of form to their away matches. Until then, relegation is still a strong possibility.
- For the first time since the beginning of the season, Wacker Burghausen left the foot of the table. After their four-match unbeaten run under new manager Uwe Wolf, 3. Liga football is not an impossibility for next season. Their 1-0 victory against Chemnitz allows them to dream, now just four points from safety.
SPIELER DES TAGES
Kingsley Onuegbu wins the Matchday 13 Player of the Week award after his double salvo against 1. FC Saarbrücken. The Nigerian striker has been hot and cold this season but now sits second in the goalscorers chart with 9 goals and is Duisburg’s main hope of achieveing promotion this season. He is two goals behind the league’s leading scorer Dominik Stroh-Engel although Stroh-Engel has four penalties to his name for Onuegbu’s none.
Onuegbu (1986) was born in Kaduna, Nigeria, and moved to Germany in 2005-2006 to play for SC 07 Idar-Oberstein in the Oberliga Südwest. After an impressive first season there, he was snapped up by Eintracht Braunschweig, scoring seven goals in his first season and ten in his second, earning him a move to the 2. Bundesliga as he was snapped up by Greuther Fürth in the summer of 2010. Onuegbu managed six goals in his first season but found chances hard to come by the following season due to injury. He was loaned to SV Sandhausen at the beginning of the 2011-2012 season but managed to score only once in the Hinrunde, moving back to Fürth for the Rückrunde. In the summer of 2013, he made the move to Duisburg, where he’s rediscovered his past form and is showing his true potential.
HOT AND COLD
SC PREUßEN MÜNSTER
SV WACKER BURGHAUSEN
SV WEHEN WIESBADEN
FC HANSA ROSTOCK
TABELLE 13. SPIELTAG
Like the new format? Hate it? Let us know in the comments box below!