Ingolstadt remain unbeaten after a thrilling 3-3 draw with Union Berlin while Fortuna cut the gap at the top to just 3 points. Elsewhere, Darmstadt moved into the promotion places after a win over fellow new boys, Red Bull Leipzig. Heidenheim and Karlsruher remain on the coat-tails of the promotion pack after 3-0 away wins at Pauli and Furth, respectively. Braunschweig took all 3 points at Aue, to make it 3 wins in a row and move into the top half at the table.
Meanwhile, Aalen remain bottom, after a home loss to FSV Frankfurt and Valerien Ismae’sl time at Nurnburg has come to an end after his side lost at Sandhausen.
Let’s take a look at the team of the week for matchday 12.
Marco Knaller – The Austrian is enjoying a rare run of starts after Sandhausen’s number one, Manuel Riemann, suffered a shoulder injury. Since coming into the team, Knaller has been far from convincing but he gave an exemplary performance as Sandhausen picked up their first win in over 6 weeks, with a 2-1 victory over Nurnburg. Riemann is one of the better goalkeepers in the league but if Knaller can continue to perform to the level that he did on Friday, Riemann may struggle to win his place back, once he returns from injury.
Enrico Valentini – While normally a left winger, the Karlsruher man has found himself filling in at right back since Philipp Klingmann fell to injury. Valentini had a fine game, in his new position, in Karlsruher’s victory at Furth. He had no trouble in dealing with Tom Weilandt and his overlapping runs caused a number of problems for the opposition’s defence.
Hanno Balitsch – The former Nurnburg man has proven to be an excellent signing for FSV Frankfurt. Benno Mohlmann has converted the veteran into a centre back since he joined the club and he has put in a number of strong performances. The 33 year old was in top form, on Friday night, as the Bornheimer outfit picked up all 3 points at bottom club Aalen. The centre back put in an outstanding defensive performance and even grabbed a smart assist for Odise Roshi’s winning goal.
Daniel Gordon – The Jamaican defender has had a quiet start to the season, with Karlsruher. However, the centre back gave his strongest performance of the season, on Sunday, as his side picked up a convincing victory at Greuther Furth. Gordon had no trouble in dealing with the attacking talents of Furth and Gordon crowned a great performance with the 2nd goal of the game.
Vegar Eggen Hedenstad – The full-back, on loan from SC Freiburg, has found himself playing in a number of different positions over the first quarter of the season. The Norwegian had spent most of the early part of the season at either right back or on the right of midfield. However, the defender has spent the past 4 weeks at left back and this is where his best performances have come. Hedenstad’s best performance of the season came on Sunday, against Erzgebirge Aue. He was excellent in defence and going forward and his performance got the reward that it deserved when his long range shot hit the post, before coming back off the goalkeeper and rolling over the line, thus winning the game for Braunschweig.
Hiroki Yamada – Yamada is beginning to adjust to life in Germany and his performances are getting better by the week. The Japanese midfielder gave another strong performance for Karlsruher, against Greuther Furth, on Sunday, as he scored 2 in an emphatic victory for the promotion chasers. Yamada gave the Furth defence a tough time as his attacking runs and ability to find space paid dividends as he headed in the opener before rifling home his 2nd goal to seal a comfortable away win.
Marc Schnatterer – The Heidenheim talisman’s incredible season continued on Saturday and St Pauli were the latest side to succumb to his talents. Schnatterer gave the Hamburg outfit a torrid time as he grabbed 2 more assists, taking his tally to the season to 8 assists and 6 goals in just 13 games. Florian Niederlechner and Robert Leipertz were the grateful recipients of Schnatterer’s creativity and flair as the Bundesliga 2 new boys ran riot against the struggling St Pauli.
Karim Matmour – The Algerian had a fine game in Kaiserslautern’s 2-2 draw with Bochum. The winger grabbed both assists before his side were pegged back by a late equaliser. Matmour’s first-time cross for Srdan Lakic’s goal was absolutely superb and he showcased his fine dribbling skills to create the 2nd goal, for Sebastian Jacob, that looked like it was going to be the winner.
Alfredo Morales – While his midfield compatriots Roger and Pascal Groß has received most of the praise, this season, it was Morales’ turn to shine on Saturday. The box-to-box midfielder was everywhere during his sides’ draw with Union Berlin. Morales’ hard running and impressive passing were an integral part of Ingolstadt’s play as they twice came from behind to preserve their unbeaten start to the season.
Florian Niederlechner – Niederlechner has been one of the surprises of the season. The Heidenheim striker was solid but not spectacular, in 3 Liga, last season but he has adjusted to life in Bundesliga 2 really well. Niederlechner scored 2 more goals against Pauli, on Saturday, as he took his tally for the season to 7, just 2 off of league’s top goal scorer, Simon Terodde. The Heidenheim man showed fantastic striker’s instincts for his first goal before he displayed his powerful running and impressive finishing for the 2nd goal.
Seung-Woo Ryu – Let me take you back to September 13th. Braunschweig were 2-0 down at Red Bull Leipzig and after just 35 mins, Ryu was hauled off after a glaring miss. At this point, many thought that Ryu’s career at Braunschweig was over as he was left out of the squad for the next month. However, last weekend, Ryu was given a surprise recall to the first XI and made the most of his chance with a goal against Aalen. Ryu kept his place for Sunday’s game against Aue and he justified the faith of his manager as he put in a really good attacking display. His movement gave the Aue defence a lot of trouble and Ryu grabbed his 2nd goal, in as many games, as he gave Braunschweig an early lead with a smart finish.
Honourable Mentions: Danilo Soares (Ingolstadt), Marvin Matip (Ingolstadt), Bruno Soares (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Jonathan Tah (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Roman Bregerie (Darmstadt), Marcel Titsch- Rivero (Heidenheim), Robert Leipertz (Heidenheim), Raffael Korte (Braunschweig), Rouwen Hennings (Karlsruher).
Player of the week
Goal of the week
Vincenzo Grifo and Hanno Balitsch linked up well with Odise Roshi in order to combine for FSV Frankfurt’s winner against Aalen. It’s not often that free-kick’s like this come off but this routine paid dividends as FSV picked up their fourth away victory of the season.
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