Two “English Weeks˝ within the first six matchdays of the new 3. Liga season and we already have every team with at least one victory and one defeat. Stuttgarter Kickers moved to the top of the table with two wins while their city neighbours Stuttgart II stay rooted to the bottom with two defeats. Wehen Wiesbaden, Unterhaching and Chemnitz endured their first defeats of the season while Mainz II, the only team that was winless, recorded their first three points at Die Rote Erde in Dortmund.
Kickers kicking high
After their unlucky opening-day defeat to Wehen Wiesbaden, Stuttgarter Kickers have not looked back. Four wins and one draw in their following five matches have seen then move to the top of the 3. Liga with 13 points, tied with former leaders Wehen Wiesbaden. A 2-1 comeback win at Halle at the weekend was followed by an impressive 2-0 defeat of Chemnitz, with goals by Elia Soriano and Vincenzo Marchese, who scored his second penalty in as many matches. Horst Steffen’s turnaround of this club since he took over almost a year ago has been nothing short of fantastic. When the former ‘Gladbach, Uerdingen and Duisburg player took charge of his first match, Kickers were third from bottom and in under 12 months he’s taken them all the way to the top by playing slick football with an outstanding strikeforce. Right now, they’re the team to beat.
Ziemer scores four but Rostock cannot stop conceding
It would be a hard task to find a player who scored four goals in a match and still failed to take all three points home. However, that’s exactly what happened to Rostock’s chunky striker Marcel Ziemer last Saturday, as his box-trick was good enough only for a point at Jahn Regensburg. Rostock held a 1-0 half-time lead but the hosts came back five minutes after the break through Thomas Kurz. Ziemer restored the lead ten minutes later only for Regensburg to score three in 15 minutes to make it 4-2. Within the last five minutes, the former Saarbrücken striker scored a brace to split the points but Rostock manager Peter Vollmann has plenty to think of. His side are currently conceding an average of over two goals per game and their matches average four goals. If that draw wasn’t disappointing enough, Rostock went on to lose 3-1 at home to league newcomers Sonnenhof Großaspach leaving them just one point above the relegation zone with just one victory under their belt, their 4-3 away win at Münster on the opening day.
Münster beat Osnabrück in derby of inconsistency
Saturday’s Spiel des Tages was arguably a boring affair as Preußen Münster took all three points at VfL Osnabrück, much to the delight of the travelling fans that made up the impressive gate of 12,228. After a cagey start by both teams, Erik Zenga gave the visitors the lead on the half-hour mark and things got much worse almost immediately for Osnabrück as Italian defender Davide Grassi was sent off with a straight red after a seemingly innocuous challenge that was deemed dangerous play by referee Manuel Gräfe. It was a stale affair throughout the match with Münster being slightly the better side. The visitors had the chance to put the game to bed with five minutes remaining when home goalkeeper Daniel Heuer Fernandes brought down Marcus Piossek inside the box but the ‘keeper redeemed himself after saving a poor penalty taken by Mehmet Kara. Both teams had chances in stoppage time but, in truth, Münster took all three points in a poor match.
Münster sit in 10th place with 2 wins, 2 draws and 2 defeats under their belt while their regional rivals are just one point behind, exemplifying that neither can get their season going and are facing yet another few months of disappointment.
Cottbus finding their feet under Krämer
Despite their disheartening 3-1 defeat against East German rivals Dynamo Dresden in Matchday 2, Energie Cottbus seem to be slowly but steadily finding their feet in a new division with new players and under a new manager. Two goalless draws after the Dresden defeat to Preußen Münster and Rot-Weiß Erfurt suggested that Stefan Krämer and his men could be in for a long and underwhelming season but two convincing wins on the bounce along with two clean sheets mean that the confidence is back at the Stadion der Freundschaft, particularly with the 2-0 win against league leaders Wehen Wiesbaden. First-half goals by Sven Michel and Nik Ledgerwood were enough to beat Marc Kienle’s side who were a shadow of the team we had seen so far this season. At the weekend, a lone goal by Manuel Zeitz was enough to take all three points at Kiel.
Engelhardt to Halle and other transfer news
Marco Engelhardt‘s transfer from Rot-Weiß Erfurt to Hallescher FC is all but done. The 33-year-old midfielder, capped three times for the German National Team, leaves Erfurt after two-and-a-half years at the club, performing at an excellent level throughout most of that time. HFC are also set to sign Osnabrück centre-back Florian Krebs to reinforce their back line which has so far leaked 9 goals in 6 matches.
On the other hand, Unterhaching have been active as well, bringing in former Köln attacking midfielder Sascha Bigalke, 1860 München centre-back Markus Schwabl, returning to the club after a disappointing season in Bavaria; and fellow centre-back Sascha Herröder, arriving from Regionalliga side Sportfreunde Lotte. However, Herröder has successful experience at this level after gaining promotion with VfR Aalen in 2012 and a season with Alemannia Aachen, still only 26 years of age.
Other important transfers include St. Pauli winger Kevin Schindler moving to Wehen Wiesbaden on a permanent deal, 29-year-old Congolese striker Francky Sembolo to Osnabrück, who will be trying to improve on his impressive 8 in 14 for Halle last season; experienced centre-back Enis Hajri moving from Kaiserslautern to Duisburg and young defender Sebastian Schiek making the move from Karlsruhe to Sonnenhof Großaspach.
RESULTS 5. SPIELTAG
|Fri. 22.08.2014||19:00||(11.) Sonnenhof-Großaspach||0:0||Dortmund II (5.)|
|(3.) Wehen Wiesbaden||4:1||Stuttgart II (18.)|
|Sat. 23.08.2014||14:00||(16.) VfL Osnabrück||0:1||Preußen Münster (12.)|
|(14.) Hallescher FC||1:2||Stuttgarter Kickers (6.)|
|(20.) FSV Mainz 05 II||1:5||Unterhaching (4.)|
|(19.) Jahn Regensburg||4:4||Hansa Rostock (15.)|
|(8.) Holstein Kiel||0:1||Energie Cottbus (9.)|
|(7.) Rot-Weiß Erfurt||2:0||Dynamo Dresden (2.)|
|(17.) Arminia Bielefeld||2:0||Fortuna Köln (13.)|
|Sun. 24.08.2014||14:00||(1.) Chemnitzer FC||0:0||MSV Duisburg (10.)|
RESULTS 6. SPIELTAG
|Tue. 26.08.2014||19:00||(8.) Energie Cottbus||2:0||Wehen Wiesbaden (1.)|
|(14.) Hansa Rostock||1:3||Sonnenhof-Großaspach (12.)|
|(6.) Dortmund II||1:3||FSV Mainz 05 II (20.)|
|(16.) Fortuna Köln||0:1||VfL Osnabrück (17.)|
|(5.) Dynamo Dresden||1:2||Holstein Kiel (13.)|
|Wed. 27.08.2014||19:00||(19.) Stuttgart II||1:2||Jahn Regensburg (18.)|
|(2.) Unterhaching||0:4||Hallescher FC (15.)|
|(4.) Stuttgarter Kickers||2:0||Chemnitzer FC (3.)|
|(11.) MSV Duisburg||1:1||Arminia Bielefeld (10.)|
|(9.) Preußen Münster||2:2||Rot-Weiß Erfurt (7.)|
TABELLE 6. SPIELTAG
Aias Aosman (Jahn Regensburg) – 4
José Pierre Vunguidica (Wehen Wiesbaden) – 4
Marcel Ziemer (Hansa Rostock) – 4
FIXTURES 7. SPIELTAG
|Fri. 29.08.2014||19:00||(19.) FSV Mainz 05 II||-:-||Hansa Rostock (17.)|
|Sat. 30.08.2014||14:00||(15.) VfL Osnabrück||-:-||Rot-Weiß Erfurt (7.)|
|(13.) Hallescher FC||-:-||Dortmund II (9.)|
|(8.) Sonnenhof-Großaspach||-:-||Stuttgart II (20.)|
|(16.) Jahn Regensburg||-:-||Energie Cottbus (5.)|
|(2.) Wehen Wiesbaden||-:-||Dynamo Dresden (6.)|
|(11.) Holstein Kiel||-:-||Preußen Münster (10.)|
|(18.) Fortuna Köln||-:-||MSV Duisburg (14.)|
|(4.) Chemnitzer FC||-:-||Unterhaching (3.)|
|Sun. 31.08.2014||14:00||(12.) Arminia Bielefeld||-:-||Stuttgarter Kickers (1.)|